World Economy

Arab States Plan New Qatar Sanctions

The Persian Gulf Arab states are considering fresh sanctions on Qatar and could ask their trading partners to choose between working with them or Doha, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Russia said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar this month, accusing it of funding Islamist militant groups in the region, a charge Doha denies, Reuters reported.

"There are certain economic sanctions that we can take which are being considered right now," Omar Ghobash told the newspaper in an interview in London.

"One possibility would be to impose conditions on our own trading partners and say you want to work with us then you have got to make a commercial choice," he said and added that the expulsion of Qatar from the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council was "not the only sanction available". 

Meanwhile Al Jazeera television reported Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as saying Tuesday that demands by Arab states that his country stop aiding terrorism were baseless and unacceptable.

“What has been presented by the countries of the blockade are merely claims that are not proved by evidence and are not demands,” Sheikh Mohammed was quoted as saying. “The demands must be realistic and enforceable and otherwise are unacceptable.”

On Thursday, the Saudi-led bloc issued a 13-point demand list in exchange for the end of the anti-Qatar measures and gave a 10-day deadline. The demands included, among others, that Qatar shut down the Al Jazeera media network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran.

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