(Corrects to clarify that Qatar has yet to make a decision on demands)
ROME, July 1 (Reuters) - Demands made of Qatar by four other Arab states were designed to be rejected, Doha’s foreign minister said on Saturday, explaining that their ultimatum was aimed not at tackling terrorism but at curtailing his country’s sovereignty.
However Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, speaking to reporters in Rome, added Doha was still ready to sit down and discuss the grievances raised by its Arab neighbours.
“This list of demands is made to be rejected. It’s not meant to be accepted or ... to be negotiated,” Sheikh Mohammed said, adding that Qatar was willing to engage in further dialogue given “the proper conditions”.
He said Qatar would not close down a Turkish military base in his country or shut the Doha-based satellite channel Al Jazeera as demanded by the Arab countries. (Reporting by Philip Pullella and Mostafa Hashem, writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Gareth Jones)