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'Qatar why don't you want us to smile?' asks Emirati FM as Doha rejects ultimatum Open in fullscreen

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'Qatar why don't you want us to smile?' asks Emirati FM as Doha rejects ultimatum

Qatar has denied any support for extremism [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 July, 2017

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The UAE's foreign minister has accused Qatar of attempting to prevent people in a Saudi-led alliance "from smiling" after Doha rejected their ultimatum to end the diplomatic crisis.

The United Arab Emirate's foreign minister said Qatar is attempting to prevent people in a Saudi-led alliance from smiling after Doha rejected a list of demands to end the diplomatic crisis.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan made the comments on Wednesday at a meeting in Cairo with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to discuss Doha's "negative response" to the stringent demands.

"Why is Qatar not trying to put a smile on people's faces? The question Qatar must answer is why does it want this chaos," Sheikh Abdullah asked, according to Egyptian media.

He said that his country had been "very patient" with Doha over the past 20 years, adding: "Qatar must adjust itself from the path of destruction to the path of reconstruction."

During the press conference, Riyadh's top diplomat said that the Saudi-led quartet was distraught by Doha's response to demands, which include ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood and closing broadcaster Al Jazeera and the London-based The New Arab.

"It hurts us to treat Qatar this way, it really does," Adel al-Jubeir told reporters.

The Arab states that have cut ties with Qatar vowed on Wednesday to maintain their blockade of the emirate, criticising its "negative" response to their list of demands to end the diplomatic crisis.

Qatar has appealed for "dialogue" to resolve the row while US President Donald Trump spoke to Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to urge all parties "to negotiate constructively".

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Qatar's response to the bloc's conditions had "no substance" and "reflects a lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation".

The talks in Cairo came a month after the four countries severed ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting extremism.

"The boycott will remain," Riyadh's Jubeir said at the same news conference in Cairo.

The quartet stopped short of announcing new sanctions but Jubeir said they would "take steps at the appropriate time".

The countries issued the 13-point list of demands on June 22, giving Qatar 10 days to respond.

The deadline was extended by 48 hours on Sunday at the request of Kuwait, which is mediating in the crisis, and Qatar handed in the response on Monday.

Qatar has denied any support for extremism and accused the countries of seeking to infringe on its sovereignty.

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