Qatar’s stock market has suffered a steep drop as nears its end the Persian Gulf nation’s deadline to give in to demands by a group of Saudi-led countries.
The county’s main QE stock index dropped by over three percent after reopening following a week-long interval for the Eid al-Fitr holiday break.
It eventually regained some of its losses later in the trading session to close down with a 2.3-percent drop.
The Saudi-imposed deadline is scheduled to finish by day’s end, although the ultimatum didn’t include a precise time or details concerning penalties.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic ties and cut all land, sea, and air contacts with Qatar on June 5. The four countries accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region, allegations denied by Doha.
The countries later issued a list of demands for Qatar to meet in return for the normalization of ties. Among them was that Qatar should shut down Al Jazeera, a media network that has reportedly been critical especially of Saudi Arabia, close a Turkish military base, limit its ties with Iran, and “compensate” the sanctioning countries.
On Saturday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stressed that Doha will not give in to any of the demands made by Riyadh and its allies, noting that the requests were “meant to be rejected.”
“Everyone is aware that these demands are meant to infringe the sovereignty of the state of Qatar, shut the freedom of speech and impose auditing and probation mechanism for Qatar,” he said.
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia reiterated that its demands on Doha were “non-negotiable.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir tweeted that Riyadh’s “demands on Qatar to stop funding terrorism are non-negotiable.”
“Restrictions on Qatar show zero tolerance for terrorism,” he said, claiming that Doha had failed to keep previous vows of stopping “funding terrorism and interfering in other countries’ affairs.”