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DIPLOMACY >Erdoğan urges Saudi king to solve Qatar row

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Saudi Arabian King Salman, the elder statesman in the Gulf region, to take the lead in resolving the ongoing crisis over Qatar.

“I think that as the elder statesman of the Gulf, the king of Saudi Arabia should solve this affair and show leadership,” Erdoğan told members of his party in parliament on June 13.

The president said he would conduct a trilateral teleconference call with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani later on June 13 regarding steps to resolve the Qatar diplomatic crisis.

The president also denounced the isolation of Qatar as “inhumane and against Islamic values” and said the methods used against the Gulf state were unacceptable and analogous to a “death penalty.”

“A very grave mistake is being made in Qatar; isolating a nation in all areas is inhumane and against Islamic values. It’s as if a death penalty decision has been imposed on Qatar,” Erdoğan said.
    
“Qatar has shown the most decisive stance against the terrorist organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] alongside Turkey. Victimizing Qatar through smear campaigns serves no purpose,” he said.

Erdoğan rejected accusations that Qatar supported terrorism, arguing that the country had been a staunch opponent of ISIL.

“Qatar is a country which, like Turkey, has adopted the most resolute stance against Daesh [ISIL],” said Erdoğan. “Let’s stop fooling ourselves.”

Trump to discuss Qatar crisis with Erdoğan: Turkish FM 


Earlier, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that U.S. President Donald Trump would discuss the crisis with Erdoğan in the near future.

Speaking in the parliament ahead of Erdoğan’s speech to lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Çavuşoğlu said the two leaders would conduct a phone call to discuss the issue.

He also vowed that Turkey would keep supporting Qatar while noting that the dispute should be resolved before the end of the holy month of Ramadan toward the end of June.  

Çavuşoğlu emphasized that Egypt, which is participating in the anti-Qatar blockade, is following Iran and Russia’s policies on Syria. “Even Egypt gives arms to the [Syrian] regime,” the minister said. 

The sanctions of the Gulf countries were “disproportionate and wrong” and “neither humane nor Islamic,” stated the minister.

Turkey assumed responsibility for mediation in order to resolve the crisis as the country is co-chair of Islamic Cooperation Organization summit, the minister noted. 

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties a week ago, accusing Doha of backing terrorism and groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The sanctions have disrupted flows of imports and other materials into Qatar and caused many foreign banks to scale back their business with the country.

A number of nations, including Turkey, have been engaged in intense diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the crisis between Qatar and the other mostly Arab countries.

The president has previously spoken by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in a bid to ease the row.

June/13/2017

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