Erdoğan, Qatari sheikh reiterate will to resolve Gulf crisis through diplomacy

Marie Harrington
September 16, 2017

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Thursday held talks in Turkey with the emirate's chief ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his first visit overseas since the start of a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-led bloc has presented Qatar with a list of 13 demands that it says Doha must satisfy in order for relations to return to normal.

The Gulf crisis erupted after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with Iran on June 5.

While no senior US Jewish leader was prepared to go on record about the planned meetings with the Qatari delegation, The Algemeiner spoke with several officials who pointed out that Jewish organizations often meet autocratic foreign leaders with established records of hostility towards Israel, or even Jews more widely, such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"His picking of Turkey as his first trip overseas after the crisis shows that he was trying to find out what kind of role Turkey could take in the negotiations", said Cahit Tuz, who is an expert in Middle East affairs, and deputy chairman of the Oriental Research Centre based in Istanbul.

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"Turkey gave a clear message that they [the Saudi-led bloc] must give up the idea of a military operation against Qatar by sending troops and military equipment".

Al Zaabi said that the four countries welcome the convening of the panel and restate their condemnation of the imposition of coercive measures because they are contrary to worldwide laws and represent violations of human rights.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Qatar, as well as regional and global developments were expected to be discussed in the meeting, according to a statement released by the Presidency earlier this week, XInhua news agency reported. In Ankara, the two leaders "stressed the need for a resolution through diplomatic means" to the crisis, according to Erdogan's office.

"We have a crisis, the government of Qatar has to admit it", al-Hail said.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss how to boost economic ties.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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