Erdogan rejects Arab demands to remove Turkish troops from Qatar

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 25, 2017

Erdogan also said that it would not entertain a demand by the four Arab nations that Turkey should shut down its military base in Qatar. Qatar denies the allegation that it supports terrorism and countered that Saudi Arabia is seeking to dominate smaller states within the region.

The four Arab countries accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional instability and cosying up to revolutionary theocracy Iran.

The source added, "The fact that Qatari intelligence mediates between terrorist organizations, particularly al-Qaeda, and other countries to secure the release of foreign journalists or religious hostages, as happened with the 19 monks who were abducted, should send the message that the Qataris are playing a very unsafe double game".

"It's a very aggressive stance, a very aggressive opening position by the Saudi alliance and I think one meant to show to Qatar that they're digging in for the long haul", said Mr Amir Handjani, senior non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council.

"We consider these demands are against worldwide law".

Defense Minister Fikri Işık in an interview with NTV private broadcaster rejected the demand pointing out that Ankara "has no intention of reassessing the status of the Turkish military base in Qatar", Daily Sabah reports.

"We consider these demands are against global law", Erdogan was quoted as saying in Istanbul by the state-run Anadolu Agency.

"We don't want any sort of tension with any Gulf state".

The conditions for normalizing relations set out by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt are neither reasonable, nor actionable, according to Qatar's government, Al Jazeera reported.

The network's critics said that the Arabic-language services in particular advance Qatar's goals by promoting Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood that pose a populist threat to rulers in other Arab countries.

Mr Erdogan approved Qatar's stance and said calls for Turkish troops to withdraw from the country were "disrespectful" on Sunday.

After its neighbors ordered Qatar to break off diplomatic ties with key ally Iran and close the Al Jazeera TV channel, the Qatari government on Saturday denounced the demands as unreasonable.

Anwar Gargash, Emirati state minister for foreign affairs, said the dispute could be resolved "through diplomacy if Qatar renounces its support for extremism and terrorism".

"This reflects basically an attempt from these countries to suppress free media and also undermine our sovereignty", said Mr Al Thani.

In his words, the demands of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt amounted to a request that Qatar give up its sovereignty.

Many other reasons have been posited as being responsible for this crisis, such as Qatar's increasingly growing friendliness with Iran; it has also sparked a flurry of efforts by other countries such as the United States to fix the relations between the countries.

US President Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the US would not intervene unless it was "asked to join ... and facilitate" discussions between the countries involved.

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