Saudi cabinet expresses satisfaction over Qatar-related decisions

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 20, 2017

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his country's position to support Qatar and diplomatic engagement to help end the crisis in a speech to party members on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are among several countries which last week announced the suspension of all ties to Qatar over what they say is the state's support for extremist groups and its political proximity to Shiite Iran.

"Victimizing Qatar through smear campaigns serves no objective", Erdogan said, urging the Saudi king, as an elder politician in the region, to take the lead in untangling the crisis. But the isolation that started on June 5 has forced Qatar to look at new friends to import food and other materials.

Erdogan dubbed the Saudi-led actions as tantamount to a "death penalty" imposed on Qatar, which he said was the target of a defamation campaign.

Qatar denied allegations over its support to terrorism and extremism adding that the diplomatic rift was based on "baseless fabricated claims".

Despite facing hardships, Qatar said that the 11,000 citizens of those countries residing in Qatar will be allowed to stay in the country.

On Thursday the four countries issued a list of individuals and entities they said had "terrorist" links to Qatar, in their first joint statement since severing ties with Doha. It is the worst crisis for the GCC since its creation in 1981.

The president said he would conduct a trilateral teleconference call with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani later on June 13 regarding steps to resolve the Qatar diplomatic crisis.

"Qatar is a country which, like Turkey, has adopted the most resolute stance against Daesh (IS)", said Erdogan.

Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita was also in the Gulf on a mission by King Mohammed to try to mediate. He was also expected to fly to Jeddah for talks with Saudi officials on the crisis.

Migrant labourers make up 90% of Qatar's population, mostly unskilled and dependent on construction projects such as building stadiums for the 2022 soccer World Cup.

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