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Arab states don't seek 'regime change' in Qatar, says UAE official

As a measure to lower the terrorist threat, Qatar is expected to stop naturalization of citizens from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrein and Egypt, as well as to give out all the criminals, those countries are searching for. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt want Qatar to meet the 13-point ultimatum in return for an end to a almost three-week-old diplomatic and trade "blockade" of the emirate.

Qatar said early Saturday it has received a list of demands by the four countries to end their blockade on the Gulf country.

In the other official response out of Qatar, its Human Rights Committee said the demands represented "gross violations" of basic rights.

According to foreign media, the 13-point list of demands includes the closure of Al Jazeera television, downgrading ties with Iran and extraditing "terrorists".

Qatar has 10 days to accept the demands, it said.

He said diplomacy with Qatar remained a priority, but added that mediation efforts to resolve the dispute had been undermined by the public disclosure of the demands.

Kuwait has been acting as a mediator to defuse the crisis that erupted on June 5 when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced they were severing relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting "terrorism".

Its neighbors have restricted air, sea and land links to the tiny emirate and levied trade bans, that have plunged the country into crisis.

Qatar was warned by one of its most hawkish critics in the region that unless it meets the list of demands, Doha faces "divorce" from its Gulf neighbors. But UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, denied that his country and others were seeking "regime change" but just "a change in behavior".

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"The alternative is not escalation", he said.

The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this month over allegations that it funds terrorism - an accusation President Donald Trump has echoed.

The Doha-based Al Jazeera satellite broadcaster described the demand on its shutting down as a "crime". If this ultimatum is not implemented there will be more than a blockade or breach of diplomatic ties.

A top Emirati diplomat said on Saturday that U.S. and European guarantees would be needed to monitor any future agreement aimed at ending a row between Qatar and its neighbours.

He said the demands were proof that the sanctions had "nothing to do with combating terrorism".

The United States is torn between the twin imperatives of counterterrorism and unity, both of which are important to American calculations and neither of which can be discarded.

Ibrahim Fraihat, associate professor in conflict management and humanitarian action at the Doha Institute, said that Qatar's response is "most likely going to be a very short document".

Turkey, whose President Tayyip Erdogan has his roots in an Islamist political party, and Qatar have been the main backers of the Muslim Brotherhood movement that challenges Arab rulers. "Imagine another country demanding that CNN be closed", 40-year-old Haseeb Mansour, who works for telecom operator Ooredoo, said. "There are no IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) elements in Qatar and the agreement with Turkey is a long-standing diplomatic agreement so we can not ask them to leave". It remains to be seen whether Washington believes that all 13 items meet that standard.

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