Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states have extended the deadline for Qatar to accept a list of demands, or face further sanctions, by forty-eight hours. The initial deadline for Qatar to agree to the group’s thirteen demands, including the shutting down of the Al Jazeera news network, expired on Sunday.
The Gulf state, which denies funding extremism, is expected to submit a formal response later. It has called the demands an “affront to international law”.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani arrived in Kuwait today to deliver a formal response in a letter, according to Al Jazeera. The letter is from the emir of Qatar to the emir of Kuwait, who is the main mediator in the Gulf crisis.
In a statement released shortly beforehand, lawyers for Qatar denounced the demands and called for international condemnation. They said the tactics were “reminiscent of the extreme and punitive conduct of ‘bully’ states that have historically resulted in war”.
They urged the world to unite immediately to halt the singling out of Qatar for unjustified collective punishment and humiliation and to preserve peace, security and prosperity in the region.