WORLD

Gulf demands to shut Turkish base 'violate sovereignty'

GULF DEMANDS TO SHUT TURKISH BASE VIOLATE SOVEREIGNTY

Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu told reporters at a press conference in Ankara that Gulf State demands which include the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar are unacceptable.

Gulf State demands which include the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar are "unacceptable" Ankara's foreign minister said on Friday.

"A solution could come in the medium term," Mevlut Çavuşoğlu told an Ankara news conference, speaking alongside his visiting Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani.

Since June 5, Qatar has been under a blockade by several Arab countries -- including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen -- accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

The Qatari government has denied all the accusations, blasting the blockade as "unjustified" and a violation of international law.

Regarding demands for the closure of the Turkish military base in the tiny Gulf state, Çavuşoğlu said: "There is no such dispute with Americans, nor do they object to it. This is a deal between two sovereign countries. Gulf demands violate sovereignty."

He described a recent Qatari deal with the U.S. as "prudential" and said "it shows that they are open to dialogue".

Qatar and the U.S. signed a deal to combat the financing of terrorism, during a visit to Doha by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, a move that comes as the Gulf crisis continues in the region.

Çavuşoğlu emphasized that Turkey supported Kuwaiti mediation efforts to resolve the crisis.

-BILATERAL RELATIONS
Çavuşoğlu highlighted Qatar's support through the first anniversary of the defeated 2016 coup attempt in Turkey:

"There was a traitorous coup attempt last year on July 15.

"That night, even before the outcome of the attempt was clear, Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani called our president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to show Qatar's and his own support.

"Turkey will never forget this. While we commemorate our martyrs in this anniversary, hosting my brother Mohammad [al-Thani] is all the more meaningful."

Çavuşoğlu said President Erdoğan was planning to visit the Gulf States and said details would become apparent next week.

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