Turkish leader slams Arab countries over Qatar

Frederick Owens
June 14, 2017

Erdogan is scheduled to talk with US President Donald Trump in the coming days about Qatar situation, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates had severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over Doha's alleged support for Islamist militant groups.

A number of nations, including Turkey, have been engaged in intense diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the crisis between Qatar and the other mostly Arab countries.

"To isolate a country's population in every respect is inhumane", the Turkish leader told his ruling Justice and Development Party in a weekly Parliamentary address in Ankara on Tuesday. "And Turkey is standing against the UAE, which belongs to the anti-Qatar Saudi camp in the ongoing crisis", Serhat Erkmen, Assistant Professor at Ahi Evran University and Turkish political expert, told Deutsche Welle.

"Qatar is not the one who supports terrorism, quite the opposite". The sanctions have disrupted flows of imports and other materials into Qatar and caused many foreign banks to scale back their business with the country.

About the USA support for the PKK/PYD group and its armed wing YPG in the region, the president said: "Those who protect the PYD and the YPG are taking wrong steps through such a decision". But the reality is that none of the Middle Eastern powers are capable of overcoming the current problems on the ground.

"There's a recently completed container port in Qatar which we've begun using, and we also have shipments through Kuwait and Oman, solving this for the short term", Norsk Hydro Chief Executive Svein Richard Brandtzaeg said on the sidelines of a conference.

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Al Emadi said in an interview broadcast on CNBC that the plunge in Qatari assets last week was a "normal" reaction to the Gulf countries' move to cut diplomatic and transport links with Qatar.

"The decision by Gulf nations is among many in the right direction that envisages full realisations of peace and stability ..."

They also shut down trade with the country, sparking fears of food shortages in a country that before the week's action brought in 80% of its food supply from the Gulf countries that surround it. "We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences".

Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum's president and CEO, said Saturday that he wanted to assure customers "of our determined efforts to continue uninterrupted supplies".

"I don't think it is something we are worrying about too much".

"It is hard for us, the generation that built the GCC 37 years ago, to see these disagreements between its members which may lead to undesirable consequences", said Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad.

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