Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi said that 5,000 tons of food was delivered to Qatar in his speech at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on Saturday.
“Up to now, 71 airplanes have delivered 5,000 tons of food to Qatar. This week we will start sending more aid with ships,” said Zeybekçi.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen, cut ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
Qatar has denied the accusations, calling the moves to diplomatically isolate it “unjustified”.
Ankara has said that it stands with the tiny Gulf state against sanctions and has urged Riyadh to take the lead in finding a solution to the crisis.
Turkey is working to resolve the Qatar crisis through diplomacy. Turkish government officials have been pushing for a peaceful solution to the Qatar row.
Erdoğan: We hope the Qatar row will be resolved by Eid al-Fitr
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated that the Qatar crisis needed to come to a peaceful and diplomatic solution on Saturday.“We hope that this issue will be resolved by Eid al-Fitr [festival of breaking the fast]. Turkey will continue to be the second home of all our brothers in the Gulf,” said Erdoğan.“We have said clearly that the accusations against Qatar are not true, and that our brothers in the Gulf should be in strong solidarity.”Turkey is working to resolve the Qatar crisis through diplomacy. Turkish government officials have been pushing for a peaceful solution to the Qatar row.The president also commented on Turkey’s continual economic growth.“Our government has taken very important measures to support the economy, and we will continue to take further steps,” Erdoğan said.“High interest rates back investors into a corner, and production and employment opportunities are halted. We are determined to achieve a result, we will succeed,” he continued.Turkey’s economy grew five percent in the first quarter of 2017 when compared to the same period last year.He went on to address unemployment rates, which rose 1.6 percentage points in March compared to the same month of last year but fell 0.9 percentage points from the previous month.“It is important that unemployment rates drop to single figure digits. It is slowly declining. Employment growth will continue, I’m sure we will see single-digit figures in unemployment,” said Erdoğan.The government is currently working on a new employment campaign to boost youth employment.Turkish president talks Qatar with emir, French leaderTurkey hopes for quick end to ‘artificial’ Gulf crisisMuslim scholar hails Turkish role in inter-Arab crisis
Qatar denies plot to destabilize Bahrain
Qatar on Saturday denied accusations of attempting to undermine security in neighboring Bahrain.On Friday, Bahrain’s official BNA news agency broadcast a phone call allegedly between Hamad bin Khalifa al-Attiyah, an adviser to Qatar’s emir and Hassan Ali Joma, a leader of Bahrain’s opposition Shia Al-Wefaq movement.The agency accused Doha of meddling with Bahrain’s internal affairs with the aim of “overthrowing” the regime.In response, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement the phone call was part of Qatari efforts to mediate between the Bahraini authorities and opposition in the wake of the 2011 unrest in Bahrain.The statement said the contacts had been made “with the approval and knowledge of the authorities in Bahrain”.”The Qatari mediation has stopped after the decision of military intervention to disperse the protests and sit-ins,” the statement said, referring to the decision to send Saudi-led forces to quell the protests.The ministry described the broadcast of the phone call as “an exposed naive attempt to twist the facts and take them out of context.”On June 5, five Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Yemen — abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.Qatar, for its part, denied the accusations, calling the moves to isolate it diplomatically “unjustified”.
Arab rift could lead to Syria division: Syrian leader
The continuation of the inter-Arab political crisis could contribute to Syria’s eventual division and the expansion of Iranian influence in Syria and the region in general, Osama al-Rifaei, head of the Syrian Islamic Council, said.On June 5, five Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen — cut off ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.Doha, for its part, denies the allegations, calling the moves to diplomatically isolate it “unjustified”.In exclusive comments to Anadolu Agency, al-Rifaei described the ongoing crisis in relations as “a return to Jahiliyyah [a pre-Islamic state of “ignorance”] and will affect the situation in Syria”.“Those most negatively affected by the ongoing dispute [between Arab states] are the Syrian people,” he said.He warned that Iran, one of the Bashar al-Assad regime’s main supporters, was “trying to promote the Shia doctrine” in the region.“The Iranians are exploiting religion to reach their goals,” al-Rifaei said. “They don’t care about Shias, Sunnis or Islam; they’re fanatical nationalists.”“If the brotherly countries of the Gulf remain locked in dispute, this will allow Iran to expand its influence and establish a foothold in the Gulf,” he asserted.“This would not only harm us [i.e., Syrians], but the entire region,” he warned. “No one will benefit from this but the West.”Carving up SyriaOn suspected plans being hatched to carve up war-torn Syria, al-Rifai said “efforts in this regard are unremitting and clear”.“Those playing a role in the international arena will be the beneficiaries of such an outcome,” he asserted. “They are linked to Western countries and have an interest in seeing the division of Syria.”“The Syrian people, including the Kurds, don’t want to see the country carved up,” he added. “We [the Syrian people] have lived with each other for decades; we understand each other.”“It is the West that is trying to divide us,” al-Rifaei said. “That there are forces actively promoting the break-up of Syria is a reality that we cannot deny.”“We pray to God that our brothers in the Gulf will respond to our appeals to end the dispute with a view to averting a disastrous outcome,” he added.“If something bad happens in the Gulf, this will have an impact on the issue of the planned break-up of Syria — and could even accelerate it,” al-Rifaei warned.The Syrian leader blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for spoiling relations between Gulf countries.Trump “came to Saudi Arabia last month and corrupted their relations,” he said.On the impact of the current Gulf crisis on the Syrian conflict, al-Rifaei said Qatar has been a main backer of the Syrian revolution.”Turkey and Qatar have faithfully stood by the revolution. The others were selling us words more that helping us,” he said.”If the fire ignites, it will catch everyone,” he warned.Turkish positionAl-Rifaei reiterated support for the Turkish efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis.”We stand with the Turkish view that they are brothers and that they must maintain the meaning of brotherhood and not besiege or hurt each other,” he said.”Turkey does not side with any side,” he said, describing the Turkish position as “moderate and balanced”.”The brothers in the Gulf should listen to advice from honest parties such as the Turkish government and other parties who appeal to them to heal their rift,” al-Rifaei said.The Syrian leader went on to warn that “while the Gulf crisis unfolds, the suffering persists in Syria”.Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity, triggering a civil war that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.In May, Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed in the Kazakh capital, Astana, to establish “de-escalation zones” in war-torn Syria.According to the agreement, the zones would cover the city of Idlib and certain parts of Latakia, Homs, Aleppo and Hama as well as Damascus, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra.Established in Istanbul in April 2014, the Syrian Islamic Council includes some 40 Islamic groups in Syria.
Turkish president talks Qatar with emir, French leader
In a phone call Friday with Qatari and French leaders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged dialogue to help resolve the Gulf crisis over Qatar, according to a presidential source. In a trilateral conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and French President Emmanuel Macron, Erdoğan brought up recent issues in the Gulf, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.The three exchanged views on the Qatar crisis with a view to immediately ease tension in the region, the source added.The leaders reportedly stressed that only dialogue and negotiations will resolve the current tension, and called for support for efforts towards this end. On June 5, five Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Yemen — abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.Qatar denied the accusations, calling the moves to isolate it diplomatically “unjustified”.