Turkey urges ‘respect of Qatar rights’ to end Gulf rift

Turkish defence minister hopes crisis to be resolved soon on basis of sincere dialogue and respect for Qatar’s rights.

Women pose with Turkish and Qatari flags during a demonstration in favour of Qatar in central Istanbul
President Erdogan said that the closure of Turkey's military base in Qatar as per the demands of the Saudi-led blockade is a disrespect to his country [Murad Sezer/Reuters]

Turkey has said that the rights of Qatar should be respected in resolving an escalating dispute between Doha and its neighbours.

“The current issues between the (Gulf) countries, who are brothers, must be resolved soon on the basis of a sincere dialogue and respect for Qatar’s rights,” Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said during a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Khaled bin Mohammed al-Attiyah in Ankara on Friday.

The meeting came as Turkey, which has stood by Doha throughout the crisis, resists pressure to shutter a Turkish military base in Doha that Qatar’s neighbours want to see closed.

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Earlier in June, Turkey’s parliament ratified two deals on deploying troops to Qatar and training its army.

Attiyah said that the focus of his visit is about the Turkish base in Qatar.

“Qatar and Turkey maintain historic ties and my visit comes in the context of boosting defence cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

Last week, Riyadh and its allies issued 13 demands to Qatar for resolving the crisis, including the closure of the Turkish military base and the Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit back at the sweeping Saudi-led demands, saying they were “against international law”.

He also described the call for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Qatar as a “disrespect to Turkey”.

Meanwhile, Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed the Gulf crisis over the phone on Friday, highlighting the need for negotiations to ease regional tensions.

The leaders agreed that ongoing tension between Qatar and other Gulf countries should be reduced for the sake of the region’s security and stability.

Erdogan and Trump also discussed bilateral ties related to economy and defence sectors, and also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fight against “terrorism”.

Source: News Agencies