Late last week, Qatar received a list of 13 demands from Saudi Arabia and the other Arab nations involved in blockading them, and has been warned by the Saudi kingdom that they have just 10 days to unconditionally accept all of them, or face unspecified further action. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement today insisting the list of demands is unreasonable.
The demands include Qatar agreeing to shut down every one of its media outlets, including the influential al-Jazeera, permanently, agree to pay an unspecified fine to the Saudis, close several foreign diplomatic posts that the Saudis don’t want them to have, and to expel the Turkish military from a base on the peninsula.
This list follows a 10-demand list from the Saudis which was rejected out of hand, and let the US to call for a “reasonable” list of demands, and Britain urged it to be “realistic.” Qatar insists they don’t think the new list is either, but rather an even bigger attack on their sovereignty than the last list was.
The US State Department has insisted Qatar is “reviewing” the demands, but Secretary of State Tillerson, who’d initially called for reasonable, actionable demands, conceded it would be very difficult for Qatar to even conceivably meet some of the demand. He urged the nations to sit down and negotiate a compromise agreement, which is unlikely as Qatar has sought an end to the blockade as a condition for talks, and the Saudis and their allies are insisting these demands are absolute and non-negotiable.