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Middle East & North Africa

Arab quartet says US-Qatari terror accord 'insufficient'

AFP, Xinhua | Wed,2017-07-12


An agreement between Qatar and the United States on combating terror funding is "insufficient", and the sanctions on Qatar remain, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The memorandum of understanding announced in Doha during a visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is "the result of pressure and repeated calls over the past years by the four states and their partners upon Qatar to stop supporting terrorism," said the Arab quartet.

"This step is insufficient," said the statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA, adding that the four states would "carefully monitor the seriousness of Qatari authorities in combating all forms of financing, supporting and harboring terrorism." 

"Qatar should completely and finally stop these activities and implement the list of 13 fair and legitimate demands, in addition to any demands that the four nations may later announce," the quartet said.

Among the 13 demands by the Arab bloc are the closure of Qatar's government-controlled TV news channel Al Jazeera, the termination of a Turkish military base in Qatar and the severance of ties with Iran.

The statement claimed that "the Qatari authorities have consistently negated all their agreements and commitments, including the Riyadh Agreement in 2013, which triggered the withdrawal of ambassadors from Doha." 

The ambassadors returned after Qatar signed the supplementary agreement in 2014. 

"However, Doha has continued to meddle in the internal affairs of states, and has incited, colluded and harbored terrorists, funded terror operations, and spread messages of hatred and extremism," said the statement.

The four nations affirmed that the said "measures" will remain in place until the Qatari authorities commit themselves "to fully implement these fair demands, which seek to counter terrorism and realize stability and security in the region."

The four Arab nations have implemented a sea, land and air embargo against Qatar since June 6 and expelled all Qatari citizens from their countries, with the exception of those being granted an exception due to family relations with nationals on humanitarian reasons.