Led by Saudi Arabia, several states in the Middle East and Africa have severed ties with Qatar since June 5, accusing the gas-rich Gulf state of supporting terrorism and Iran. Qatar denies the allegations.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that no one had the right to issue an ultimatum to a sovereign country.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that no one had the right to issue an ultimatum to a sovereign country.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several other Sunni-majority countries have severed relations with Qatar since June 5, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorism based on its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Taliban.

Another point of departure is Qatar's ties with Iran, with whom it shares one of the world's biggest gas fields.

Qatar has denied the accusations and called the collective decision "unjustified." Kuwait, Turkey and the US have all urged a political solution as the bloc isolates Qatar using various ad hoc sanctions, including shutting down their airspace to Qataris and blocking import routes.

The dispute began in May when Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani was reported to have made statements on the state news agency supporting Iran. Doha said the statements were fabricated and disseminated via a hack.

Here are the latest developments in the crisis:

July 2, Sunday

Saudi says request to extend deadline of demands on Qatar accepted

Saudi Arabia and its three allies, who severed ties with Qatar, have agreed to a request by Kuwait to extend by 48 hours Sunday's deadline for Doha to comply with a list of 13 demands presented ten days ago, according to a joint statement on Saudi state news agency SPA.

Without stating whether Qatar had rejected the ultimatum as was widely expected, Kuwait's state-run news agency KUNA said Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had asked Saudi Arabia and three other countries that have boycotted Qatar to grant their a 48-hour extension in their 10-day deadline.

Four Arab states to meet in Cairo to discuss Qatar- Egypt

Foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss Qatar, Egypt said on Sunday.

"At the invitation of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, there will be a quartet meeting of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Cairo on Wednesday, July 5 to follow up on the developing situation regarding relations with Qatar," Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

Qatar rejects series of demands as deadline approaches

Qatar has rejected the series of demands issued by Saudi Arabia and its allies, to end the nearly month-long blockade on the Gulf country.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani says the 13-point list of demands, presented to Doha by Kuwaiti mediators 10 days ago, doesn't do anything to tackle terrorism and is an infringement of the country's sovereignty.

Instead, he's calling for a return to dialogue. But Saudi Arabia's foreign minister insists its demands are non-negotiable.

Qatar now faces possible further sanctions by its Gulf neighbours as Sunday night's deadline approaches.

July 1, Saturday

Qatari FM says Gulf demands made to be rejected

Demands made of Qatar by four other Arab states were designed to be rejected, al-Thani said on Saturday, explaining that their ultimatum was aimed not at tackling terrorism but at curtailing his country's sovereignty.

Speaking to reporters in Rome, al-Thani added that Doha was still ready to sit down and discuss the grievances raised by its Arab neighbours.

He was speaking ahead of a deadline set by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt for Doha to accept 13 demands.

"This list of demands is made to be rejected. It's not meant to be accepted or ... to be negotiated," al-Thani said, adding that Qatar was willing to engage in further dialogue given "the proper conditions".

For more of the latest developments. click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies