Erdogan rejects Arab demands; Turkish troops stay in Qatar

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 26, 2017

Diplomatic relations were cut with Qatar by four Arab neighbors including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on June 5 who accused the small oil-rich country of having ties with "terrorist organizations", including the Muslim Brotherhood.

The U.S. State Department did not comment on the list of demands on June 23, but the White House appeared to distance itself from the dispute, calling it a "family issue" that should be sorted out among the Arab states.

Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives have also said they are indefinitely severing ties with Qatar.

"We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism", he said.

A Turkish foreign ministry statement Sunday reiterated that the deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar contributed to regional security and was not aimed at a specific country.

"A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension", he added. The United States will continue to stay in close contact with all parties and will continue to support the mediation efforts of the Emir of Kuwait.

"This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning: The illegal blockade has nothing to do with combatting terrorism".

The Sunday report quotes Rouhani as telling Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in a phone conversation: "Tehran will stand by Qatar's government".

In a statement, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) described Al Jazeera as "a source of information for citizens in the Middle East and beyond".

"NHRC noted that Qatar's acceptance of these demands and conditions would subject the country to global accountability and violate its obligations on human rights conventions".

UAE's foreign minister said on Saturday there would be a "parting of ways" with Qatar if it failed to meet the demands.

Al Jazeera said any call to close down the network is an attempt to silence freedom of expression in the region. The GCC, or Gulf Cooperation Council, includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait as well as Qatar.

Saudi Arabia has also sealed its land border with Qatar, thus geographically isolating it.

The director of the Qatari's communication office said the blockade was meant to "limit Qatar's sovereignty and interfere in its foreign policy", according to the official QNA news agency. "Their role should be to put pressure on Qatar", said Gargash.

"Should we get permission when we make a defense cooperation agreement with any country?" Qatar hosts the largest concentration of USA military personnel, 11,000 people, in the Middle East. Trump visited Saudi Arabia last month on his first overseas trip and announced a $110 billion deal to sell arms to the country.

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