losangelesnewstoday.com June 20, 2018

Saudi, Qatar ministers spar over Arab nations' demands

28 June 2017, 01:58 | Katrina Lee

Yellen: No more financial crises in our lifetimes Senate GOP delays ObamaCare repeal vote past recess MORE, (R. -Tenn.), meanwhile, on Monday said he meant to block future arms sales to all Gulf states involved in the dispute until there's a "better understanding" of how the Qatar crisis will be resolved.

"All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight [IS] and counter Iran".

In a quote reported by the "New York Times", Cardin said that he shares: "Senator Corker's concern that the current GCC dispute distracts from our shared, most pressing security challenges defeating ISIS".

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt, submitted a list of 13 demands to the government in Doha via the State of Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator.

Under US law, the State Department must notify Congress 30 days before any major arms sale.

They also imposed a trade blockade of Qatar, a travel ban on Qatari nationals, and even deported 15,000 Qatari-owned camels from their summer pastures in Saudi Arabia. They included shutting the Al-Jazeera TV network, cutting back diplomatic ties with Iran and ending Turkey's military presence in the country - a list Qatar said was far from the "reasonable and actionable" proposals Tillerson had called for.

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Saudi Arabia reiterated Tuesday that its demands on Qatar were not negotiable, as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held talks with the Qatari foreign minister on the Gulf states crisis. We endorse and appreciate Qatar's stance towards the 13 demands.

Germany's foreign minister said on Monday that the demands being made of Qatar by the countries leading the blockade of the small Gulf State are "very provocative".

Earlier this month, the Senate narrowly fended off a bid to block a Trump administration plan to sell Saudi Arabia $500m in precision-guided munitions, part of a proposed $110bn arms sales package announced during the president's visit to Riyadh last month.

Corker is considered a close ally of Trump and his voice is likely to be listened to by the White House. And if the country were to meet these demands before the upcoming deadline, it will be subject to audits for compliance at regular intervals for the next decade.

He called for Qatar and the other Arab countries to "sit together" to work through the list. Qatar is expected to reject the demands, and Turkey's President Erdogan has already done so, insisting it is no one's business but Turkey and Qatar if they have a military base on Qatari soil.

He also said that Iran seeks "moderation" and "wisdom" in its relations with the regional countries and is ready to help restoring peace in the region.

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