Turkey FM holds "positive talks" with Saudi Arabia on Qatar crisis

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met Saudi Arabia's King Salman as part of his tour of the Gulf to discuss the current diplomatic crisis in the region.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Cavusoglu travelled to the holy city of Mecca where Salman is based for the last days of Ramadan.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held talks in Saudi Arabia on Friday with King Salman, continuing efforts to resolve the Gulf's biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

Diplomatic sources told AFP that "the meeting was positive", but there were no specifics.

Riyadh, the UAE, Egypt and others severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar almost two weeks ago, accusing Doha of supporting groups, including some backed by Iran, "that aim to destabilise the region." The claim is denied by Doha.

Cavusoglu travelled to the holy city of Makkah where Salman is based for the last days of Ramadan, after meeting the Kuwaiti emir on Thursday.

The emir of Kuwait, which did not cut ties with Qatar, has also been trying to mediate.

Turkey's chief diplomat was in Doha on Wednesday where he called for dialogue after meeting Qatar's emir and foreign minister ahead of his Saudi stop.

"Although the kingdom is a party in this crisis, we know that King Salman is a party in resolving it," Cavusoglu said earlier.

"We want to hear the views of Saudi Arabia regarding possible solutions and will share with them our views in a transparent way... We pay a great attention to our relations with them," he said.

Ankara regards Qatar as a close ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving ties with regional power Saudi Arabia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday described the decision by Gulf states to cut political and economic relations with Qatar as "inhumane and un-Islamic".

Among the punitive measures, Qatar Airways is banned from the airspace of its neighbours, Gulf states gave Qataris 14 days to get out, and Saudi closed its land border through which much of Qatar's food supply crossed.