Given extra 48 hours, Qatar responds to demands



KUWAIT, July 4, (Xinhua) — Qatar has responded to a list of demands from the Saudi Arabia-led Arab alliance which gave it an extra 48 hours to think twice in order to end their standoff, amid worldwide concerns. 
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani arrived in Kuwait Monday, carrying a handwritten letter from Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s official KUNA news agency reported. 
Sheikh Mohammed reportedly has made a response to a list of demands raised by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, which accepted Kuwait’s request to extend by 48 hours a deadline for Doha to respond to their list of 13 demands. 
Yet the details of the response remain unknown so far.On June 23, the four Arab states issued a list of 13 demands to end the rift with Doha, including ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing Doha-based Al-Jazeera television station, cutting diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base. They severed ties with Qatar on June 5 over its alleged support for terrorism. One day later, the four Arab countries imposed a partial land, sea and air embargo on Qatari-owned means of transport, including state-owned Qatar Airways.The foreign ministers of the four countries are scheduled to meet in Cairo Wednesday to discuss the standoff with Qatar and the next steps to take after receiving Doha’s response. 
Major international players have voiced their concerns over the crisis.French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said that Macron had a phone talk with the Qatari emir and discussed the situation in the region, and the Qatari emir was expected to visit France at the end of summer. 
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed the Qatar crisis with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Monday over telephone, but did not disclose the details.German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for a dialogue to end the crisis as he was starting a tour of the Arab states on Monday, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. 
He said that Germany was worried about the distrust and disunity in the region. Earlier on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Qatar and its neighboring countries to solve the current crisis by making political and diplomatic efforts, as he held a telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.Putin also had a telephone conversation with King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. They touched upon the Qatar issue and stressed the importance of direct dialogue “based on mutual respect between all states involved in the conflict.” 
In a related development, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke over the phone separately late Sunday with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, and the emir of Qatar to discuss the crisis. 
Trump addressed his “concerns about the ongoing dispute between Qatar and some of its Gulf and Arab neighbors,” while reiterating “the importance of stopping terrorist financing and discrediting extremist ideology.” 
Trump also underscored that unity in the region was critical to accomplishing the goals of defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability.