Today News
A+ A A-
AFP and Tribune Wires

Saudi-led demands not ‘reasonable’ – Qatar

Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:00 Published in Headlines

DOHA — Qatar yesterday said a 13-point list of demands made by Saudi Arabia and its allies impinged on its sovereignty and failed to meet US expectations they be “reasonable.”
The four Arab governments delivered the demands to Qatar through Kuwait last Thursday, more than two weeks after severing all ties with the emirate and imposing an embargo.
The document has not been published but has been widely leaked and the demands are sweeping in their scope.
They require Doha to join Riyadh and its allies in outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood, which it has long supported.
They also require it to close Iran’s embassy and a base on its territory operated by its ally Turkey, as well as to shut Al-Jazeera television.Qatar is also required to end all contacts with opposition groups in the four countries — Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In Qatar’s first response to the demands, government communications director Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani yesterday said they went far beyond the four governments’ stated aim of combating terrorism.
“This blockade is not aimed at fighting terrorism but at impinging on Qatar’s sovereignty and interfering in its foreign policy,” Sheikh Saif said.
He recalled that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said that Washington wanted a clear list of grievances that was “reasonable and actionable.”
This list “does not meet those standards,” he noted.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have put enormous pressure on Qatar to meet their demands.
The UAE state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, warned on Friday that Qatar should “deal seriously” with the 13 points or face “divorce” from its neighbors.
The rift between the US Gulf allies has been awkward for Washington.
Tillerson has sought to mediate but the White House has been more hands-off, describing the diplomatic crisis as a “family issue” on Friday.
As the crisis deepened and the United Nations offered to help resolve the regional diplomatic row, Qatar said it had received the list of demands from its neighboring countries.
“Qatar announced its receipt of a paper, on June 22, containing demands from the siege countries and Egypt,” read a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published in the early hours of Saturday morning local time.
“The State of Qatar is currently studying this paper, the demands contained therein and the foundations on which they were based, in order to prepare an appropriate response.”
Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, said Qatar should cede to the demands.
“It would be wiser that (Qatar) deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbors or a divorce will take place,” he wrote on Twitter.?
The demands confirm that “the crisis is profound,” Gargash added.
The list of demands was given to Qatar by Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator in the dispute, the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years.
A statement from Kuwait’s state-run KUNA agency said Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah had also held calls with the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Friday as the diplomatic push continued.
Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hosts the biggest American airbase in the Middle East.
Gargash accused Qatar of leaking the document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, which cut diplomatic ties and accused Qatar of sponsoring terrorism.
Qatar strongly denies such charges.
‘Attempt to silence’
Al-Jazeera, one of the largest news organizations in the world, said that it “deplores” calls for it to be taken off air.
“We in the network believe that any call for closing down Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to silence the freedom of expression in the region and to suppress people’s right to information,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
Al-Jazeera English’s managing director, Giles Trendle, said it was like “Germany demanding Britain to close down the BBC,” in a video posted on social media.
Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia and the UAE led a severing of all links with Qatar for allegedly supporting groups, including some backed by Iran, “that aim to destabilize the region.”
Other allies, including Egypt and Bahrain, followed.
Saudi Arabia regularly accuses Iran, its regional rival, of interference throughout the Middle East.
As well as cutting diplomatic ties, Qatar’s neighbors closed their air space to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate’s only land border, vital for its food imports.
Qatar’s Human Rights Committee said the demands represented “gross violations” of basic rights.
In Qatar, the hashtag “the list is rejected” trended in Arabic on social media.
Gargash though said: “The brother (Qatar) must realize that the solution for its crisis lies not in Tehran or Beirut or Ankara or Western capitals or in media outlets, but in regaining the trust of its neighbors,” he said.  

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had top-level intelligence last August that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an operation to help Donald Trump win the US presidential race, the Washington Post yesterday reported.
The intelligence shocked the White House and put US security chiefs on a top-secret crisis footing to figure out how to react.
But amid confidence that Democrat Hillary Clinton still had the election in the bag and worries over president Barack Obama himself being seen as manipulating the election, the administration delivered warnings to Moscow but left countermeasures until after the vote, the Post reported.
After Trump’s shock victory, there were strong regrets among administration officials that they had shied from tough action.
“From national security people there was a sense of immediate introspection, of,‘Wow, did we mishandle this,’” a former administration official told the newspaper.

The Post said as soon as the intelligence on Putin came in, the White House viewed it as a deep national security threat. A secret intelligence task force was created to firm up the information and come up with possible responses.
They couldn’t do anything about embarrassing WikiLeaks revelations from hacked Clinton emails. The focus turned to whether Moscow could disrupt the November 8 vote itself by hacking voter registration lists or voting machines, undermining confidence in the vote tally itself.
Worried about making the situation worse, the administration put off retaliating, and instead delivered stiff warnings directly to the Russians not to go farther.
At least four direct warnings — Obama to Putin, spy chief to spy chief, and via top diplomatic channels — appeared to have an impact, officials told the Post. They believe that Moscow pulled back on any possible plans to sabotage US voting operations.
“We made the judgment that we had ample time after the election, regardless of outcome, for punitive measures,” a senior administration official told the Post.
Options to retaliate were on the table early: more crippling sanctions on the Russian economy, leaking information that would embarrass Putin diplomatically, and launching cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure were high on the list.
But Trump’s shock victory dampened the response.
Obama took modest measures at the end of December, expelling 35 Russians and adding to existing sanctions. He also, according to the Post, authorized a plan to place cyberattack implants in the systems of critical Russian infrastructure.
But it remains unclear, the Post said, whether Trump has followed through with that.
Trump on Friday questioned Obama’s response to the Russian hacking crisis.                     

NBA suspends Caldwell-Pope

Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:00 Published in Sports

NEW YORK — Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was suspended for two games without pay by the NBA on Friday after pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
The 24-year-old US guard, who has played four seasons for the Pistons, was charged in March and last week was sentenced to probation, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The NBA suspension, for the violation of Michigan state law, will begin with the next NBA regular season game for which Caldwell-Pope is healthy and eligible to play.
Set to become a free agent, Caldwell-Pope has averaged 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals a game for his NBA career. He averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and a career-best 2.5 assists last season.
The Pistons went 37-45 last season, their eighth losing campaign in nine seasons. They have not won a playoff game since 2008.

Commentaries

IS caliphate plans for RP ruined

25-06-2017 Ninez Cacho-Olivares

IS caliphate plans for RP ruined

Critics will continue to criticize and find more fault ...

Pakistani citizens gasp for clean air

25-06-2017 AFP and Tribune Wires

Pakistani citizens gasp for clean air

Islamabad, Pakistan — Furhan Hussain moved to Islamabad...

‘Deadly CEB flight’

25-06-2017 Louie Logarta

‘Deadly CEB flight’

Some bad news coming on the eve of the start of this ye...

The gambling industry in RP

25-06-2017 Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz

The gambling industry in RP

Who says the country is backward-looking, not modern en...

Unfair to McCaan Erickson

25-06-2017 Larry Faraon

Unfair to McCaan Erickson

The Department of Tourism, dissuaded by heaps of social...

Tribune gets congratulations

25-06-2017 Tribune Wires

Tribune gets congratulations

Dead Editor:My warmest greetings and congratulations to...

Sports

Headlines

Nation

Metro

Sports

Life Style

Etcetera

Motoring

business

Copyright 2000-2012 All rights reserved, The Daily Tribune Publishing Inc.