Decision on Al Jazeera's Future Given 48-Hour Extension

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Al Jazeera America closed in 2016

Qatar now has until Tuesday to respond to a list of 13 demands from a coalition of neighbors led by Saudi Arabia amid a major diplomatic crisis.

Qatar has been given another 48 hours to respond to a list of demands  including the closure of its major news network Al Jazeera — from Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states. 

The country had been given until Sunday to agree to 13 demands put forward to restore relations with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt and halt sanctions that were put in place earlier this month after it was accused of funding terrorism, something it denies. 

The list included the demand to "shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliate stations," alongside requests to sever ties with Iran, cut its links to organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and to stop interfering in the affairs of sovereign countries.

Al Jazeera, the most widely watched and highest-profile broadcaster in the region, has long been an agitator of Arab governments unaccustomed to reporting beyond the strict constraints of state-controlled media. Al Jazeera's Arabic channel has also been accused of providing a voice to extremist political groups.

Qatar last week labeled the demands an "affront to international law" and called for global condemnation.

On Saturday, the gas-rich state's foreign minister said it would reject the demands, but that it was ready to engage in dialog. 

comments powered by Disqus