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UAE warns Qatar to accept demands or face 'divorce'

26 June 2017

Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said Turkish exports to Qatar have tripled since the four Arab countries began boycotting the Gulf state earlier this month.

He added that Al Jazeera covered the diplomatic row between Qatar and Gulf Arab states from the first day in a professional and impartial manner, also inviting experts who supported "illegitimate" measures against Qatar.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said recently that his country would rely on other countries if the blockade continues.

Turkey's defence minister rejected suggestions that it should review its military base.

Qatar said the website was hacked and United States officials later told CNN that USA investigators believe Russian hackers were behind it.

Fikri said the base is vital to protecting Turkish security interests in the region.

Among these demands were the closure of a new Turkish military base in Qatar.

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Isik stated that "no one should be disturbed by" the Turkish military presence in Qatar.

"The recent joint statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE regarding a "terror finance watch list" once again reinforces baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact", the Qatari government said in a statement. Qatar's only land routes go through Saudi Arabia, so it now relies exclusively on sea and air supplies.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Emirates and Bahrain have required Qatar to close the Al Jazeera headquarters. The U.S. issued that litmus test amid frustration at how long it was taking Saudi Arabia and others to formalize a list of demands, complicating U.S. efforts to bring about a resolution to the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years.

New tensions erupted Friday in a feud between Qatar and a group of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia after the leak of an onerous list of demands to be met by Qatar, including the shuttering of the Al Jazeera news channel.

Kuwait said the list has not been sanctioned by either Qatar or Kuwait, which has been trying to mediate between the two sides. Although residents made a run on the supermarket in the days after the crisis erupted, the situation has since calmed as Qatar secured alternative sources of imported food from Turkey and elsewhere.

Trendle also said that demands to shutter the network are "nothing but an attempt to muzzle a voice of democracy in the region and suppress freedom of expression". The list of requests from #Saudi Arabia, the #United Arab Emirates,Egypt, and Bahrain, includes the closure of the Turkish military base in #Qatar, a Reuters report said.

Saudi and the UAE have threatened to fine or jail residents expressing sympathy for Qatar on social media.