Erdogan plans Gulf visit to discuss Qatar dispute
ANKARA: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, Qatar’s staunch regional ally in its dispute with Gulf Arab neighbors, hopes to visit the Gulf soon to discuss efforts to resolve the crisis, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5 over allegations it funds terrorist groups and is allying with their arch-foe Iran. Qatar denies the accusations.
“All our efforts are focused on a solution that suits the laws of brotherly relations,” Cavusoglu told reporters after talks in Ankara with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
Erdogan has criticized a list of demands made by the four Arab states to end the sanctions, including a requirement for Turkey’s military base in Qatar to be closed.
Turkey has also sent 200 cargo planes with supplies to Qatar since its Gulf neighbors cut air and sea links. Qatar’s only land border is with Saudi Arabia.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left Qatar on Thursday after a tour of Gulf Arab countries aimed at easing the worst regional dispute in years, saying he had made proposals that would help resolve the crisis.
During his trip Tillerson signed a U.S.-Qatari accord on combating the financing of terrorism in an effort to help ease the crisis.
Qatar’s opponents said it fell short of allaying their concerns, but Cavusoglu said it showed the Gulf state’s sincerity.