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Tue 4 Jul 2017 08:47 AM

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Saudi hopes for 'positive' Qatar response to demands

Adel al-Jubeir discussed "the necessity of putting an end to the support for terrorism, extremism” with German foreign minister

Saudi hopes for 'positive' Qatar response to demands
(STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia hoped on Monday for a "positive" response from Qatar to demands that it end support for "terrorism" and its associations with Iran.

Riyadh and its allies on June 5 severed diplomatic and transport ties with their gas-rich Gulf neighbour Qatar, in the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the region in decades.

They issued a list of 13 demands but announced early Monday a 48-hour extension to the deadline which had been due to expire at the end of Sunday.

"We hope for a positive response to be able to resolve the crisis," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

He spoke at a news conference with his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, who began a tour of Arab states.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (L) walks next to his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir (C) in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah on July 3, 2017. Sigmar is on a tour of the Arab states. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Gabriel has called for a "serious dialogue" to end the Gulf crisis which he said could weaken the entire Arabian peninsula.

Kuwait, which did not cut ties with Doha, is mediating the dispute and on Monday received Qatar's response to the demands.

Details of the response were not immediately available.

Jubeir said the reply will be "examined with precision".

In Washington last week, he said the demands were non-negotiable.

They include Doha's ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing broadcaster Al-Jazeera, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting a Turkish military base in the emirate.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Doha of supporting groups, including some backed by Riyadh's rival Iran, "that aim to destabilise the region".

Doha strongly denies the accusations.

Jubeir said he discussed with Gabriel "the necessity of putting an end to the support for terrorism, extremism, and calls for hate and interference in the affairs of others."

The German minister is to also visit the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also called for compromise and hosted senior Gulf officials, but his efforts have been undermined by remarks from President Donald Trump apparently supporting Riyadh's position.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has said the list of demands was "made to be rejected".

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