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Arab quartet ready for talks with Qatar if it stops backing terror

--Courtesy "malaysianaccess"

Manama: The Arab quartet on Sunday expressed its willingness to engage in a dialogue with Qatar to resolve the current crisis, if Doha stops backing terror.

The foreign ministers of the Arab quartet, comprising Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, held a meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama after they cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and accused the Gulf emirate of supporting terror.

At a press conference in Manama, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said the four countries announced their willingness to enter into a dialogue with Qatar, if the latter declared its sincere desire to stop supporting and financing “terrorism and extremism” and the spreading of hate speech, Efe reported.

He also called on Qatar to comply with the 13 demands of the quartet and pledge not to interfere in the affairs of the four Arab countries.

Al Khalifa insisted that this call for dialogue did not mean that the quartet has renounced any demands presented to Qatar.

The Arab quartet demanded that Doha should meet the 13-demand list, which includes the closure of Al Jazeera TV network and a Turkish military base on Qatari soil and distance itself from Iran, historic enemy of Saudi Arabia.

The four countries on Sunday accused Doha of putting “obstacles” in the path of Qataris who desire to travel to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, which will be performed at the end of August.

In this regard, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that all pilgrims are welcome, including Qataris, and that the Saudis continue to facilitate the pilgrims’ journey.

Al-Jubeir warned that if there is a rapprochement between Qatar and Iran, this will only cause further troubles for Qatar and its government.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that if an agreement is finally reached between the quartet and Qatar, a “mechanism” will be established to follow the development of the implementation.

This meeting was held after the Arab quartet convened in Cairo on July 5 and agreed that they would meet again in Bahrain.

On Tuesday, the Arab quartet presented a new list with nine entities and nine individuals allegedly backed by Qatar to carry out “terrorist activities.”

–IANS