Turkish PM says Qatar crisis could become global problem

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 10 : Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim speaks during an iftar (fast breaking) dinner meeting with the representatives of the business world at Dolmabahce Prime Minister's Office in Istanbul, Turkey on June 10, 2017. AFP

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Saturday that the escalating crisis between Qatar and several other Gulf countries could turn into a global problem due to the geo-strategic nature of the region.

Speaking during an iftar dinner with businessmen at the Dolmabahçe Prime Ministry Office in İstanbul, Yıldırım said, A new problem area that may be created here [in Qatar] would not be limited to the region,” CNN Türk reported.

Calling on other Arab nations involved in the crisis, Yıldırım said parties must act responsibly and contribute to reducing the tension rather than escalating it.

“We are negotiating with the leaders of all the countries in the region and with our diplomatic counterparts and inviting the parties to calm down,” he added.

A diplomatic crisis erupted between Qatar and other Gulf countries after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed relations with Doha claiming Qatar embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disrupting stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda, and constantly promotes the messages and schemes of these groups through their media.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of being a “high level” funder of terrorism, even as the Pentagon and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cautioned against the military, commercial and humanitarian effects of a blockade imposed by the Arab states and others.

According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia said its action followed the conclusions of last month’s Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, where Trump delivered a speech about Islamist extremism.

Trump said he had helped to plan the move against Qatar, although a senior administration official told Reuters that Washington had had no indication from the Saudis or Emiratis during the visit that they would sever ties with Qatar.

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