Arab Nations say Qatar's Rejection of Demands 'Not Serious'

Four Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, have said that they would continue their diplomatic and economic blockade of Qatar after the nation gave a "negative" response to their list of demands.

The comments are coming a day after the expiration of a 48-hour deadline extension recommended by Kuwait to allow Qatar comply with set demands tabled before it which Doha has rejected.

The boycotting countries, in a joint statement released after a meeting of their Foreign Ministers in Cairo Wednesday, deemed Doha's response a "negative response, which showed its negligence and its lack of seriousness in dealing with the roots of the problem".

"We're not doing this because we want to hurt Qatar, we're doing this to help Qatar", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir said as reported by the BBC.

Host of the meeting, Sameh Shoukry noted that Qatar's response was "not serious" and betrayed Qatar's "failure" to realize the gravity of the situation.

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The Saudi foreign minister told reporters that further steps against Qatar would be taken at the appropriate time and will be in line with global law.

Qatar Airways said in a statement early on Thursday the ban had been lifted after the airline and its hub airport Hamad International met with all new USA security requirements.

The ultimatum demands that Qatar, among other things, cut its ties with Iran, close the Turkish military base on its soil and shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliates.

Qatar had earlier responded to the deadline with defiance, calling the demands "unrealistic and is not actionable".

"Public exchanges between the various parties in recent weeks and previous periods of heightened tensions between Qatar and other GCC countries suggest that a quick resolution is unlikely and that the stalemate may continue for some time", Moody's said.

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UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said in a tweet Qatar faced "greater isolation, incremental measures and reputational damage" if it did not heed the demands.

The countries in question claimed that Qatar supports terrorist groups such as ISIS ("Islamic State in Iraq and Syria"), al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen, and that Qatar threatens their national security. They also said the blockade of ports and air space will remain in place, reports NPR's Jane Arraf.

"We believe that the world is governed by worldwide laws that don't allow big countries to bully small countries", Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told a news conference, AP wrote.

The nations could impose financial sanctions or force Qatar out of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional body known as the GCC that serves as a counterbalance to Iran.

The White House said Trump reiterated the need for all countries "to stop terrorist financing and discredit extremist ideology".

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