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Thursday 20th
posted by Morning Star in World

THE four Arab nations leading a blockade on Qatar appeared to ease up on their harsh demands on Tuesday night.

Saudia Arabia’s UN ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told journalists that the four had urged Qatar to commit to a list of six “principles,” supposedly to combat terrorism and extremism.

They include preventing financing and safe havens for terrorist groups and “suspending all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut all ties with fellow Gulf state Qatar on June 5, as did Egypt, accusing Doha of supporting terrorist groups and regional rival Iran.

Earlier this month the four countries issued an ultimatum of 13 humiliating and impossible demands of Qatar, including expelling non-existent Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops and closing the Al-Jazeera news network.

They later extended the 10-day deadline. It was unclear if Tuesday’s six points replaced the 13 demands.

However Mouallimi said that closing Al-Jazeera — a thorn in the side of many Middle Eastern countries over its critical coverage of Qatar’s neighbours — may no longer be necessary but stopping incitement to violence and hate speech was.

“If the only way to achieve that is by closing down Al-Jazeera, fine,” he said.

“If we can achieve that without closing down Al-Jazeera, that’s also fine.” There was no immediate response from the Qatari government.