Erdoğan talks with Gulf leader to resolve crisis
AA photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan finalized yesterday ar two-day tour to Gulf countries in Doha, his last destition, on July 24, aimed at defusing a dispute between Qatar and neighbouring Arab states.
Erdoğan was greeted by Qatari ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha ahead of their first face-to-face talks on the Gulf crisis.
Turkey and Gulf countries have agreed on the continuation of efforts and initiatives to ease the crisis, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said in a statement, as the tour was ongoign on July 24.
Erdoğan held talks on July 23 in Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts in the crisis, and Saudi Arabia, where King Salman hailed the Turkish leader’s “efforts in the fight against terrorism and its financing.”
“Mr. President expressed that Turkey supported efforts conducted by Kuwait and other initiatives in a bid to overcome the crisis in the Gulf region. He came to an agreement with his respondents that the current initiatives should be maintained for the resolution of the crisis through negotiation and dialogue,” Kalın said.
Kalın stated that the significance of Muslim countries’ need to act in unity and protect their sovereignty rights had also been highlighted in the meeting.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain suspended diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar over allegations that Doha had too close ties with Iran and supported Islamist extremist groups.
Qatar has denied the allegations.
Erdoğan has voiced support for the mediation efforts of Kuwait, a possible indication Ankara sees Kuwait as the key to resolving the crisis.
Qatar’s emir on July 21 said he was open to talks with the Saudi-led bloc on condition the emirate’s “sovereignty” was respected.
His call received a cold reception from the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, who wanted Qatar to review its policies.
“Dialogue is necessary, but it should be based on a revision” of Qatar’s stance, he tweeted.
Qatar has emerged as Turkey’s number one ally in the Middle East in recent years, with Ankara and Doha closely coordinating over issues including the Syria conflict where the two are staunch foes of President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey is also setting up a military base in Qatar, its only such outpost in the region. It has expedited the process since the crisis began and reportedly now has 150 troops in the emirate.