Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Bahrain’s foreign minister that an ongoing dispute between Qatar and other Arab Gulf states must be resolved by the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting, said Turkey’s foreign minister on Saturday.
In a joint press conference with Bahrain’s foreign minister, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue efforts to end a regional dispute that has sought to isolate Qatar.
Last week, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf nation.
‘No longer a choice’
The dispute escalated on Friday when Saudi Arabia issued a list of 59 individuals it accused of sponsoring terrorism, including members of the Qatari royal family.
“Fighting terrorism and extremism is no longer a choice, rather … a commitment requiring decisive and swift action to cut off all funding sources for terrorism regardless of its financier,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a government source.
Doha has vehemently denied the allegations. For years, Gulf states and Egypt have resented Qatar’s ties to the moderate Muslim Brotherhood movement along with its sponsorship of the pan-Arab television network al-Jazeera.
Regional ‘political solution’
During an official visit to Mexico, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday called on regional state actors to do more to achieve political solution, not solely in the Qatar dispute but also in armed conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
“We have to see that the political solution of conflicts … such as the situation in Syria, such as the situation in Libya or the situation in Iraq, won’t happen if certain players are no longer even included in the conversation, and that includes Qatar, it includes Turkey, it includes Iran,” she said.
However, her American counterpart Donald Trump has likely added fuel to the fire by alleging that Qatar has been a “high-level” sponsor of terrorism for years. He called for Qatar to “end that funding.”
The Pentagon has warned that the Gulf states’ air, land and water blockade have impeded the US’ ability to plan for long-term operations in the region. Qatar is a member of the US-led coalition against the self-styled Islamic State militant group.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the Qatar crisis “could lead to war,” a day after meeting with Qatar’s foreign minister.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel met with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Thani on Friday to discuss the crisis
ls/rc (Reuters, AFP)