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13 RIDICULOUS demands Saudi gives to Qatar in aggressive ultimatum

Saudi Arabia’s ultimatum is the work of a power-mad, childish nation that does not understand the meaning or function of international relations.

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Saudi Arabia has passed an ultimatum to neutral Gulf Cooperation Council member state Kuwait to be handed to the Qatari regime in an attempt to end the current crisis wherein Saudi Arabia has led a total boycott of Qatar along with the UAE, Egypt Bahrain, Libya’s House of Representatives, Yemen’s Hadi government and the Republic of Maldives.

Far from ending the crisis, this ultimatum will only prolong the disputes as the demands issued by Saudi are that of a victor to a vanquished foe in a war. In some cases the demands are even harsher than certain terms of peace after a military conflict.  Put another way, it is unabashed colonialism.

The list has allegedly been seen by the AP and RT has reported on its unverified, but widely accepted contents.

Here is the full list of demands

1. REPARATIONS

The payment of reparations/compensation to Saudi, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE due to the “victims and loses” which have resulted from Qatar’s policies. The final sum is not specified.

Clearly the Saudis have not studied the history of Europe after the First World War where war reparations and a guilt clause forced on Germany played some part in fomenting the rise of fascism in Germany.

If anything, Saudi’s policies have created more “victims and loses” than those of Qatar. Again this is the pot calling the kettle black and using the widely discredited aggressive demand for reparations as part of a cynical ultimatum.

2. Don’t Have Good Relations With Iran 

Qatar’s apparently warming relationship with Iran is one of the proximate causes of the Saudi led boycott of Doha. Many suspect that given the fact that Qatar’s ambition to build a gas pipeline to Turkey running through Syria is now dead in the water, that Qatar which shares the same natural gas field with Iran, may be working to supply gas to Turkey via Iran.

Saudi which has accused Qatar of meddling in other countries (a true allegation) is now meddling in Qatar’s internal affairs, telling Doha that it cannot develop good relations with Iran.

This is not only ridiculous but it goes against the principles of state sovereignty as defined by international law.

3. Kick Turkey Out 

In yet another violation of the principles of international sovereignty, Saudi has demanded that Qatar kick out recently arrived Turkish troops. Saudi also demands that Qatar cease cooperating with Turkey militarily.

This is Qatar and Turkey’s right to cooperate if they want to. No foreign state has the right to dictate otherwise.

4. Shut Down Al Jazeera

Saudi has already taken state-run Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera off air in Saudi and kicked out their staff from the country, but now Riyadh wants the broadcaster to go off air entirely–worldwide.

This is colonialism, nothing more.

5. Terrorism 

Saudi demands that Qatar renounce and cut ties with terrorist groups including ISIS, Al-Qaeda/al-Nusra (both of which Saudi funds) as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is not considered a terrorist group by most of the world, including in Lebanon where Hezbollah is based. Hezbollah is a political party with democratic representation in the Lebanese Parliament.

4. Stop Funding Terrorism 

A cynical repeat of the previous demand

5. Hand Over Terrorists 

Saudi demands that Qatar hands over terrorists harboured by Doah.

6. Interference In Other Nations 

Saudi demands that Qatar does not interfere in the affairs of other countries.

Saudi’s entire list is one giant interference with the affairs of other nations (not just Qatar but also Iran and Turkey).

This one is truly laughable.

7. Have Peaceful Relations With Gulf Neighbours 

This one really boils down to “do what I say  or I’ll kill you”. A very poor Hollywood action-comedy springs to mind.

8. Other Media 

In addition to shutting down Al Jazeera, Qatar must shut down all other media outlets it funds and/or owns.

9. Probation 

Qatar must allow Saudi to audit Qatar’s action on these demands once every month for a year, every three months for the second year and once a year for ten years after that.

What planet is Saudi living on?

10. Opposition Leaders 

Saudi demands that Qatar hand over all records indicating their support for opposition figures in foreign countries.

11. Citizenship

Do not give citizenship to individuals wanted for crimes by Saudi, UAE, Bahrain or Egypt

12. Individual Terrorists 

Saudi demands that Qatar cease funding individual terrorists above and  beyond the groups previously proscribed by Saudi.

13. Do All of This In 10 Days

Saudi demands that Qatar does all of the above in 10 days. No specific threat is issued in the event of non-compliance.

The aggregate effect of these demands is that Saudi wants Qatar to become its puppet state while grossly humiliating Qatar in the process.

This will simply not happen and Riyadh is utterly deluded to think otherwise.

The demands are not a list that comes from a responsible nation but instead one which is acting in a power-mad childish and aggressive manner.

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”

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Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT.

As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international.

The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia.

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN.

The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, the Saudi Public Prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.

The Saudis stuck by latest (ever changing) narrative that the Washington Post columnist was killed after a mission to abduct him went awry. The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. The team killed him after the talks failed and his body was handed to a “collaborator” in Turkey, he said.

Asked whether Saud al-Qahtanti, an aide to Prince Mohammed, had any role in the case, Shaalan said that a royal adviser had a coordinating role and had provided information. The former adviser was now under investigation, the prosecutor said, declining to reveal the names of any of those facing charges.

Al-Shaalan did reveal that a total of 21 suspects are now being held in connection with the case. Notably, the decision to charge the 5 comes after National Security Advisor John Bolton repudiated reports that a recording of Khashoggi’s murder made by Turkish authorities suggested that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the murder plot.

But as long as OPEC+ is planning to do “whatever it takes” to boost oil prices, the US’s willingness to give the Saudis a pass could always be tested if crude prices again turn sharply higher.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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