Turkey wants Qatar row to be resolved by end of Ramadan


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Bahrain’s Foreign Minister that the dispute between Qatar and other Arab states should be resolved by the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.

In a joint news conference with Bahrain’s visiting Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue its efforts to resolve the dispute, as Qatar faces isolation imposed by fellow Arab states over its alleged support for terrorism.

Al Khalifa said he had told Erdogan about the actions of Qatar which led to the dispute, and added that there should be a guarantee that Qatar will not continue its current actions.

Cavusoglu also said Turkey’s military base in Qatar, to which Erdogan approved legislation on deploying Turkish troops, was aimed at contributing to the security of the entire Gulf region and was not aimed at a specific Gulf state.

Saudi Arabia and several states in the Middle East and Africa cut diplomatic ties with Qatar since June 5, accusing Doha of supporting “terrorism”. 

Qatar has called the charge “baseless” and vowed not to compromise on its foreign policy.  

Tensions have been high in the region after Qatar’s neighbours imposed economic blockade on the tiny Gulf nation besides blacklisting some of its individuals and NGOs. 

Erdogan has vowed to keep supporting Qatar and rejected accusations that it supports terrorism.

TRT World’s Kilmeny Duchardt has more.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain ban Al Jazeera 

Saudi Arabia has banned hotels and tourist facilities in the country from airing Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera in a bizarre move as part of widespread restrictions on the neighbouring country. 

Those failing to comply with the orders of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage will be punished.

Their facilities will be shut down and they will be face fines up to $26,000, according to a statement released on Twitter by the Commission on Friday.  

A special circular released to the public, also on Twitter, read as follows:

The Commission hereby reiterates that all of the Al Jazeera Network’s channels must be removed from all hotel rooms and touristic facilities and furnished residential units, totally and entirely, including the TV lists kept within.

Any facility acting in violation of the aforesaid Circular will be held liable and be penalized with a fine amounting up to SR100,000 or the cancelation of its license; or both the penalties. – Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

Qatar’s neighbours have also criticised Al Jazeera’s “hostile” coverage of events in the region. 

Founded in 1996 as part of Qatar’s efforts to turn its economic power into political influence, Al Jazeera won millions of viewers across the Arab world by offering uncensored debate rarely seen on other local broadcasters in the region.

Tourism outlets in Bahrain have also been directed to shun airing Al Jazeera, according to state-run Bahrain News Agency.  

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