Arab nations extended a deadline early Monday for Qatar to respond to their list of demands in a diplomatic crisis roiling the Gulf, saying Kuwait's emir requested the delay as part of his efforts to mediate the dispute. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain cut off ties with the country on June 5, restricting access to their airspace and ports and sealing Qatar's only land border, which it shares with Saudi Arabia. They issued a 13-point list of demands to end the standoff June 22 and gave the natural-gas-rich country 10 days to comply. The new deadline will expire late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the AP reports.
"We stand ready to defend our country," Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah told Sky News. "I hope that we don't come to a stage where, you know, a military intervention is made." Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, showed no signs of backing down in during a press briefing in Rome on Saturday, saying the demands were never meant to be accepted and that his country "is prepared to face whatever consequences." Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has tried to resolve the dispute, with the US last week urging Saudi Arabia and its allies to stay "open to negotiation."