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Qatar rejects Saudi-led group allegations

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 07/07/2017
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5 [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera] © Provided by Al Jazeera Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5 [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Qatar has expressed regret over false claims in statements issued by Saudi Arabia and its allies in Cairo and Jeddah, describing the accusations by anti-Doha quartet as a defamation.

Qatar's state news agency quoted a foreign ministry source as saying on Friday that the claims by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt about Qatar's interference in internal affairs of other countries and financing terrorism are baseless allegations.

Qatar's position of rejecting and condemning all forms of terrorism is consistent and known, the source said.

"The State of Qatar is an active member committed to international conventions in combating terrorism and its financing at the regional and international levels, and the international community attests to that," the source added.

The source also criticised the anti-Qatar group for accusing Doha of leaking the list of demands, saying the claims were baseless and could be refuted with evidence.

READ MORE - All the latest updates about the Gulf crisis

In a joint statement released late on Thursday, the Saudi-led group said Doha's refusal of their list of 13 demands was proof of its links to terror groups and blamed Qatar for "continuing to seek to sabotage and undermine the security and stability in the Gulf region".

"All political, economic and legal measures will be taken in the manner and at the time deemed appropriate to preserve the four countries' rights, security and stability," the statement said.

A similar document was issued on Wednesday after the foreign ministers of the quartet met in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

The Gulf crisis

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed land, air and sea blockade on the country.

They also ordered Qatari citizens to leave their territories and took various steps against Qatari firms and financial institutions.

On June 22, they issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera, as a prerequisite to lift the sanctions. The quartet now considers the demands "null and void".

The US state department warned on Thursday that the Gulf crisis is at an impasse and could potentially  drag on for weeks or even months.

The US believes the crisis could "possibly even intensify", Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the State Department, said.

Nauert did not specify what type of escalation the US fears, but she said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson remains in close contact with the countries involved.

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