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Gulf row: No new sanctions despite Qatar denial

Gulf row: No new sanctions despite Qatar denial”

Foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have released statements following a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, after the latest deadline they had set to Qatar expired on Tuesday night. However, they made a decision to continue with the ongoing embargo, following Qatar's rejection of a list of demands it was told to meet to end its isolation.

"This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning - the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy", Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of the Qatari government's communications office, said in a statement on Friday.

"The political and economic boycott will continue until Qatar changes its policies for the better", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir said.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has blamed Qatar for "human suffering" in Syria and Libya in an exclusive interview with CNN.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, told reporters that further steps against Qatar would be taken at the appropriate time and in line with global law.

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The ultimatum demands that Qatar, among other things, cut its ties with Iran, close the Turkish military base on its soil and shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliates.

Despite the optimism from those in the Europe and the U.S., officials from the countries that accuse Doha of financing and promoting extremism say that Qatar's rejection of their demands means additional measures are now being discussed.

Saudi Arabia and its allies announced on 5 June they were severing ties with their Gulf neighbour, sparking the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the region in decades. "But the Gulf countries consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, the United States has not labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group thus far".

Qatar is unlikely to agree to demands from a coalition led by Saudi Arabia that includes shutting down Al-Jazeera, former USA diplomat Theodore Kattouf told CNBC on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt as well as the internationally recognized government of war-torn Yemen broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in a major worldwide rift on June 5, 2017.

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Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted on Thursday: "For any real discussion with Doha to gain traction, it has to be responsible for past actions and recognise the necessity of changing course".

Asked about the possibility of discontinuing Qatar's membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Sheikh Khalid said: "This is for the GCC to discuss".

Meanwhile, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan kept up the pressure on Qatar.

The White House said Trump reiterated the need for all countries "to stop terrorist financing and discredit extremist ideology".

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