The deadline is up, and Qatar has not complied with the 13 “non-negotiable” demands issued by Saudi Arabia and its allies to end the isolation of the gulf state. That’s why Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE expressed their disappointment and announced that the embargo will remain in place. Meanwhile, a Bahraini news agency reported on a new list of principles to which Qatar is being called to commit. Unlike the 13 demands, these principles are less specific, and simply call for a commitment to combat extremism, avoid interfering in the affairs of others, suspend provocative speech that promotes violence...etc. Could these principles provide a more flexible interpretation of Qatar’s adherence to its neighbors’ demands to resolve the crisis? That remains to be seen. But while Qatar has the resources to withstand its isolation for a while, war-torn Yemen not too far away is experiencing a massive outbreak of cholera that has claimed the lives of more than 1,600 people so far. Political disputes are not only understandable, they can sometimes even be welcomed when countries need to be prodded to pursue better policies. But when a political dispute takes the kind of humanitarian toll Yemen is experiencing, it becomes time to put humanity before politics, and to end this destructive war that clearly cannot lead to anything positive in the foreseeable future.

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