Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt due to meet today. Yesterday, Qatar responded to the list of requests from the Gulf allies. No news is leaked on the content of the letter. Qatar's foreign minister termed demands made of Doha "unrealistic and impracticable" and denounced an attack on "freedom of thought".
Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A month from the beginning of the crisis between Riyadh and Doha, senior officials of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt meet today in Cairo to discuss the issue. The summit at foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital comes a few hours after the expiration of the deadline given to Qatar, and extended 48 hours ton he 3rd July to accept the list of 13 demands - including the closure of the satellite channel Al Jazeera - advanced by the Gulf nations.
The Qatar Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, intervened yesterday, defining the dictates as " unrealistic and impracticable". The leader of Doha's diplomacy rejects all the allegations and adds that "this is not terrorism", because in this affair "freedom of thought" is at stake.
Behind the new clash in the Middle East region, Qatar is accused of supporting Islamist terrorist movements and, above all, maintaining diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran, the number one enemy of the Saudis in the Middle East. In fact, according to some analysts, the final battle between the Wahhabites and the Muslim Brotherhood for the Middle East dominance is underway, with heavy repercussions in the tourism and labor market for the emirate.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Allies received Doha's official response to their demands. So far, nothing has leaked on the content of the missive, which is been kept strictly under wraps in anticipation of the next diplomatic and commercial moves. In recent days, the leaders of the emirate had strongly criticized the "list" of the Gulf allies, pointing out that such demands constitute a clear "violation of international law".
Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran continue to provide commercial, economic and military support to Doha isolated from the rest of the region. The small emirate, with a population of 2.7 million people, largely migrant workers from Asia and rich in oil and natural gas, is likely to face a serious crisis if the controversy continues. Interviewed by AsiaNews, the apostolic vicar of northern Arabian Peninsula (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain) Msgr. Camillo Ballin has confirmed the problems that have already pushed part of the local Catholic community to emigrate.
Yesterday, Qatar announced its intention to strengthen natural gas production (LNG) for the coming years, a sector in which the country is one of the world's leaders. At the same time, he reiterated the desire to resolve the crisis with Riyadh (and allies) through dialogue, excluding the use of force that would end worsening an already tense situation in the region. (DS)