Arab leaders say the pact signed by Washington and Doha is not enough to resolve the crisis. Diplomatic and commercial sanctions remain in force until Doha complies to the "just" demands. Qatar recalls that it is the only country in the region that has signed a document against terrorism. Al Jazeera's campaign for freedom of the press continues.
Doha (AsiaNews) - The deal signed by Qatar and the United States on countering terrorism and aimed at breaking down funding channels for militia groups is "inadequate" according to the leaders of the four Arab countries that have imposed a series of sanctions on the Arab Emirates. The crisis between Riyadh and Doha has been ongoing now for more than a month. Hence the decision to confirm the economic and commercial measures against Qatar until Doha complies with the "just" demands for "security in the region".
In a note, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (Eau) state that the memorandum of intent announced in Doha during the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is "the result of pressures and repeated appeals." The goal of the four states and their allies, continues the statement released yesterday, is to persuade Qatar to "stop supporting terrorism". "The pace is inadequate," the leaders of the Arab bloc agree, adding that priority will be "to carefully monitor the seriousness of Doha authorities" in countering all forms of funding, support, and hospitality to terrorism. Qatar's commitment so far "is not worthy of trust" because in the past the emirate had never complied with this kind of agreement. Hence the final appeal for a "rigorous scrutiny" and the warning for Doha to "return to the right path".
The official statement by the Gulf Allies follows the anti-terrorist agreement reached earlier by Tillerson and Doha Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani during an official meeting in Qatar's capital. For the US Secretary of State it is based on the decisions taken in May at the Riyadh summit, whose goal was to "wipe terrorism from the face of the earth". The Qatar diplomacy chief recalled that his country was the first in the Middle East to sign an anti-terrorist deal with Washington and invites nations who are "besieging" Doha to do the same.
In spite of the efforts of international diplomacy and US engagement, the crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia shows no sign of abating. The controversy also involves the Qatari Al Jazeera, satellite channel, which Riyadh wants to close down. Hence the press freedom campaign launched by the TV , which has reached over 53 million social users worldwide. The video accompanying the initiative and posted on YouTube in just a few days has exceeded 32 million views, under the slogan "Journalism is not a crime".