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Friday, April 16, 2021

13 demands were ‘maximalist’ negotiation position: UAE official

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Rebuilding confidence will take time, energy and transparency, says Anwar Gargash

The 13 demands set in June 2017 by the blockading quartet were a “maximalist negotiating point,” the United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told CNN after ties between the four countries and Qatar were restored

“This is something that we have always said – that the 13 demands, at the time, were considered, what I would call, a maximalist negotiating position,” the UAE official said on CNN after the signing of the Al-Ula declaration at the 41st GCC Summit. 

“I think what we end up today with is general outlines that basically govern relations between states that are party to the same organisation,” Gargash said.

“These are what I would call general outlines of how this relationship will move on and I think we’re very satisfied with this and we want to build on it,” he added.

After the blockade was first announced in June 2017, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt announced a list of 13 demands to lift the illegal siege. As a part of the demands, they called for shutting down Qatar-based international media network Al Jazeera, cutting off all ties with Iran and severing “all ties to terrorist organisations.” 

“The issue of rebuilding confidence is one that takes time, takes some energy and takes a lot of transparency,” Gargash added. “We have to work at making this deal quite waterproof in many ways.”

Qatar foreign minister, Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said the Al-Ula declaration was a victory for the GCC, adding that the process would take time. 

Timeline: How the GCC crisis erupted over three years

In late December, mere weeks before the GCC summit, Gargash tweeted that the Qatar-based media were trying to “undermine” reconciliation efforts by the blockading countries. 

Since then, full diplomatic relations have been restored between Doha, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Manama and Cairo. 


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