Demands on Qatar will be ‘very difficult’ to meet – Tillerson

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US secretary of state Rex Tillerson criticised a 13-point list of demands on Qatar as “very difficult” to meet, warning that both Qatar and the group of Arab states behind the letter needed to tone down their rhetoric.

On Thursday, it was revealed that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt had given Qatar 10 days to comply with demands that included shutting down Al Jazeera, Doha’s international satellite television network, and paying reparations to its Arab neighbours.

Qatar has dismissed the demands as excessive, alleging that the ultimatum was about “limiting Qatar’s sovereignty”.

In addition to calling for the shutdown of Al Jazeera, Saudi Arabia and its partners also called on Qatar to curb relations with Iran, to close a Turkish military base and to halt military co-operation with Ankara.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan also spoke out against the demands. “Demanding that Turkey pull its soldiers is unfortunately also disrespectful towards Turkey,” Mr Erdogan said on Sunday.

Mr Tillerson said the US would “continue to stay in close contact with all parties” and would support the “mediation efforts of the emir of Kuwait” who has taken a leading role in finding a resolution.

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