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Erdogan Calls for Gulf Measures to End Qatar Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AFP)

Ankara – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Tuesday for Gulf measures to be taken to end the crisis with Qatar.

He demanded that Saudi Arabia use its clout as the largest Gulf state to resolve the crisis, reiterating his stance that the accusations over Doha’s support of terrorism were “baseless.”

He said during a speech before the ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz in his role as the major figure of the Gulf should take the initiative to end the dispute.

“I think that as the elder statesman of the Gulf, the king of Saudi Arabia should solve this affair and show leadership,” said Erdogan.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

“Isolating Qatar is a mistake. We cooperate with it in combating and destroying terrorism,” Erdogan added.

The Turkish leader hoped that the crisis would be resolved before the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

He added he would hold three-way phone talks on the crisis later Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan would hold talks on the crisis with US President Donald Trump in the coming days.

Cavusoglu said that his country will play a mediator role in the dispute, but that it will also help others in their efforts to resolve it.

He noted that Erdogan is the current leader of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, so he therefore has added responsibility in reaching an end to this problem.

He revealed that Ankara is leading a mediation initiative with Finland and that the two sides will organize in the coming days a mediation forum over the crisis in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The foreign minister stated that Ankara informed Gulf states that the measures they had taken against Qatar were “unbalanced” and that it opposes them.

Meanwhile, the Turkish army said in a statement on Tuesday that a three-person Turkish military delegation was currently in Qatar to carry out preparation work for the deployment of troops in the future.

Turkey’s parliament last week approved deploying troops to a Turkish base in Qatar.