Erdoğan to embark on Gulf countries tour amid Qatar row

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published
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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning to visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar on July 23-24, the Turkish presidency said Tuesday.

Erdoğan will first visit Saudi Arabia on July 23, and then head to Kuwait, which assumed a mediatory role in the crisis. The president will finally visit Qatar on July 24.

Turkey has been a staunch ally of Qatar in its dispute with Gulf Arab neighbors, with Erdoğan reaffirming Turkey's support for Qatar on numerous occasions. He also called for the blockade imposed by Arab states to be completely lifted.

Turkish parliament also approved a motion to deploy troops in Qatar on June 7, a process that was accelerated by the diplomatic spat.

Starting from June 5, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen's internationally backed government and one of Libya's three governments have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Gulf nation funds militant groups – charges Doha calls baseless.

Several other Muslim nations also downgraded their diplomatic ties with Qatar.

The Saudi-led anti-Qatar axis issued an ultimatum earlier, including demands Qatar shut down a Turkish military base in Doha, shutting Al Jazeera and curbing ties with Iran.

Qatar rejected the 13-point list of demands its neighbors made for lifting their sanctions.

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