Arab states issue steep demands to Qatar in bid to end crisis

Four Arab Gulf states embroiled in a diplomatic row with Qatar over its alleged links to Islamic extremist groups have issued their neighbour with a list of steep demands if the crisis is to be brought to an end.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties to Qatar in June over allegations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism.

Their list of demands for re-establishing ties include closing down broadcaster Al Jazeera, cutting back diplomatic ties to Iran and shutting a Turkish military base within its borders.

In a 13-point list - presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis - the countries also demand that Qatar sever its alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State group.

Qatar has 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which include paying an unspecified sum in compensation.

According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalise citizens from the four countries and expel those currently in Qatar, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep it from meddling in their internal affairs.

They also demanded Qatar hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism; stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the US; and provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations.

Al Jazeera said the call for its closure was an attempt to silence freedom of expression Credit: AP

Qatar's government did not have any immediate reaction to the list, but broadcaster Al Jazeera said the call for its closure was "nothing but an attempt to silence the freedom of expression in the region".

"We assert out right to practice our journalism professionally without bowing to pressure form any government or authority," the statement said.

Turkey has also rejected the demand to shut down its military base.

The four Gulf nations pulled their diplomatic staff from Qatar earlier this month as state news agencies in the region claimed the country was "destabilising security of the region".

If Qatar agrees to comply, the list sets out that it will be audited once a month for the first year, and then once per quarter in the second year after it takes effect.

For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.