Turkey sees signs of solution to Qatar crisis

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President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets Qatari Minister of Defense Khaled Al-Attiyah (R) in Ankara, Turkey on July 1, 2017. Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

Ankara has said there are signs that a solution to the Qatar crisis, which erupted last month after several countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, severed ties with Doha over its support for terrorist groups, can be reached, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.

“We will continue to discuss this crisis with various actors. There are some signs that a solution can be reached. This is our main impression from the phone call between our President [Erdoğan] and Mr. [Donald] Trump yesterday,” presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın told reporters as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was meeting with Qatari Minister of Defense Khaled Al-Attiyah in Ankara.

“We have not received any document concerning the accusations against Qatar. In a few days, Qatar will respond to the 13 conditions [put forward by Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia],” added Kalın, underlining that Turkish troops are in Qatar for the security of the region.

On Friday, Erdoğan and Trump discussed the Qatar crisis over the phone. According to Turkish presidency’s press office, the leaders agreed that the ongoing tension between Qatar and other Gulf countries should be reduced for the sake of the region’s security and stability.

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 that 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.

Turkey has vowed to stand by Qatar and called on Saudi Arabia to end all sanctions.

Immediately after the countries imposed sanctions on Qatar, Turkey’s Parliament approved two agreements for deploying troops to Qatar and military cooperation. Ankara has also sent supplies, including a ship carrying 4,000 tons of food.

As Saudi Arabia has the only land border with Qatar, which was closed when the crisis began, Turkey has thus far sent 105 cargo planes of supplies to Qatar, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi recently said.

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