RIYADH // Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have accepted a request by the emir of Kuwait to extend the deadline for Qatar to meet its demands by 48 hours.
The deadline for Doha to address a list of 13 conditions was due to expire at midnight on Sunday, but the four allies agreed to give Doha an extension to respond positively to their demands, the Saudi Press Agency said.
The Kuwaiti government had requested the extension after Qatar’s announcement that it was due to hand over its response to Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah on Monday. The Kuwaiti emir is acting as mediator in the Gulf crisis.
A joint-statement on WAM, the UAE state news agency, said: "In response to the request of the Emir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, to extend the deadline given to the government Qatar for 48 hours, and following the Qatari government's confirmation to His Highness that it will send its official reply to the list of demands by Monday, the four countries announce that they accept His Highness' request.
“the four countries’ reply will be sent after studying and evaluating the Qatari Government’s response to the complete list of demands”.
The four countries announced on June 5 they were severing ties with Qatar, sparking the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the region in decades.
They accused Doha of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran, which Qatar has strongly denied.
On June 22 they presented a list of 13 demands and gave Doha 10 days to comply.
Riyadh’s demands include ending Doha’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the closure of Al Jazeera television, a downgrade of diplomatic ties with Iran and the shutdown of a Turkish military base in the emirate.
The four countries indicated in their statement that they would study and evaluate Qatar’s response before delivering their own reply to Kuwait.
Doha has so far indicated that it rejects the demands.
“The list of demands is made to be rejected,” Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Saturday in Rome.
“The state of Qatar ... is rejecting it as a principle,” he said, adding: “We are willing to engage in providing the proper conditions for further dialogue.”