Erdogan reaffirms Turkey’s support for Qatar

Turkey, which has stood by Qatar during its diplomatic crisis with its Arab Gulf neighbours, has sent 100 cargo planes with supplies to Qatar after it came under an air and sea embargo.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, (R) shakes hands with Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, left, prior to their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, July 1, 2017.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday reaffirmed Turkey's support for Qatar in its dispute with four other Arab states, saying their demands against the tiny Gulf nation were unacceptable.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and allying with regional foe Iran, charges Doha denies, and have cut diplomatic and commercial ties.

At a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, the four nations' foreign ministers refrained from slapping further sanctions on Qatar but voiced disappointment at Doha's failure to comply with their 13 demands after the expiry of the deadline.

"When it comes to this list of 13 items ... it's not acceptable under any circumstances," Erdogan said in an interview with France 24 television.

Some of the terms were tantamount to "stripping" Qatar of its statehood, he added.

Among their demands is for Qatar to end an accord under which Turkey maintains a military base in the Gulf state.

"We remain loyal to our agreement with Qatar. If it requests us to leave, we will not stay where we are not wanted," he said through an interpreter, adding there had been no such request.

Turkey, the most powerful regional country to stand by Qatar, has sent 100 cargo planes with supplies since its neighbours cut air and sea links. It has also rushed through legislation to send more troops to the military base in Doha.

Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armoured vehicles have arrived since the crisis erupted on June 5.

TRTWorld and agencies