Turkey FM in Doha as UN ‘alarmed’ by Gulf crisis


DOHA: Turkey’s foreign minister held talks with Qatar’s emir Wednesday as the search for a diplomatic solution to the Gulf crisis intensified and the UN voiced fears over growing humanitarian concerns in the region.

Mevlut Cavusoglu called for dialogue to end the crisis, after meeting Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha.

“The meeting discussed developments of the Gulf crisis and means of solving it in addition to reviewing the strategic ties between the two countries and aspects of developing them on all fronts,” a statement on the Qatar News Agency said.

The reference to “all fronts” could refer to Turkey’s military base in Qatar.

Cavusoglu will on Thursday travel to Kuwait—which is also seeking to solve the crisis— before holding talks with Saudi King Salman in Saudi Arabia on Friday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Ankara is one of Qatar’s strongest allies and earlier this week committed to deploying troops at its base in the emirate.

“Saudi Arabia has the potential and capability to solve this crisis as a wise state and big brother of the region and also as a major actor,” Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.

“We aim to involve all actors in this process.”

Saudi Arabia is one of several countries which have imposed a political and economic “blockade” on Qatar, in protest at Doha’s support for Islamist extremist groups as well as over its ties to Shiite Iran.

The move has been backed by nations including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and others.

Qatar strongly denies the charges and claims neighboring countries are trying to interfere with its foreign policy.

The diplomatic push continued elsewhere, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—who has described the decision by Gulf states to cut political and economic ties with Qatar as “inhumane”—expected to hold phone talks with US President Donald Trump in coming days.

Erdogan’s spokesman said a trilateral meeting between Ankara, Paris and Doha was also planned, in addition to efforts already launched by Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron met Moroccan King Mohammed VI in Rabat on on Wednesday to discuss the Gulf crisis along with other regional issues. Macron said he would meet a senior leader from the UAE next week.



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