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Qatar rejects Saudi demands, deadline nears

Staff Writer |
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the 13 conditions imposed on Doha to lift a month-long blockade on Qatar could not be and were not intended to be met.

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"Everyone is aware that these demands are meant to infringe the sovereignty of the state of Qatar," Al-Thani told a press conference in Rome after meeting his Italian counterpart, Angelino Alfano.

The demands - announced on June 22 and expiring on Sunday - include ending Doha's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the closure of the Al-Jazeera broadcaster, reducing diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in the country.

Last week, the United Arab Emirates threatened Qatar with "divorce" from its Gulf neighbors if it failed to meet the demands, saying they were non-negotiable.

Along with the UAE, that group includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. Saudi Arabia has closed its airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked its only land border, a key route for food imports.

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