Turkey says it will do everything to solve Qatar crisis

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Gulf region needs solidarity and cooperation now more than ever.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

If needed, Turkey stands ready to do whatever it can Turkish President Erdogan has said.

Turkey disapproves of the sanctions placed on Qatar by seven states, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Egypt and the Maldives severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing authorities in Doha of supporting terrorism. The move marks the worst rift in years among major states in the Arab world.   

“I want to clearly say that we disapprove of the sanctions on Qatar,” Erdogan said as he addressed a fast-breaking iftar dinner organized by his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Turkey’s capital Ankara.     

“These developments, coming at a time when we need solidarity and cooperation more than ever, are no good for any country in the region,” he said, adding that Turkey will do everything it can to resolve the crisis.

Sources close to President Erdogan said he continued diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions on Tuesday, speaking over the phone to the leaders of France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon.   

These followed Monday phone calls with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al-Sabah, and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.   

Erdogan told the leaders that regional problems should be solved through dialogue, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.   

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani attends the 25th Arab Summit in Kuwait City, March 25, 2014

The dispute between Qatar and its neighbours was triggered by a purported hack of Qatar's state-run news agency that attributed what Doha said was a “false statement” to the country’s emir.

The statement, which was later removed, focused on sensitive regional political issues with other nations in the region, including Iran and Israel, and also Doha's relationship with new US President Donald Trump.

Qatar has said the measures taken against it were "unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions" and that it was facing a "campaign of lies that have reached the point of complete fabrication" aimed at putting the state "under guardianship."

Having for years parlayed its enormous gas wealth and media strength into broad influence in the region, Qatar support for the Muslim Brotherhood has long irked its Gulf Arab neighbours and Egypt as they regard the group as a political enemy.

Turkey has good relations with both Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbours.

TRTWorld and agencies