Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

United States urges Qatar and Saudi-led group to 'lower rhetoric'

In the latest development in the lingering political crisis between the Gulf states, Turkey's leader has sided with gas-rich Qatar, saying the sweeping ultimatum the Arab monarchies have given Doha runs "contrary to worldwide law".

-Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson has said Qatar will find it "very difficult" to comply with a list of demands submitted by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to end the country's isolation in the Gulf.

Turkey on Sunday rejected demands by a Saudi-led quartet of Arab states for the shutdown of a Turkish airbase in Qatar, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the countries involved in the dispute of attacking Qatar's sovereign rights. "This approach of 13 demands is against worldwide law because you can't attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country", Erdogan said in Istanbul, in his strongest statement of support yet for Qatar in this three- week-old crisis. A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension.

He also appreciated supports of the Iranian government and nation asserting "Tehran and Doha have always enjoyed strong and developing relations".

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"Even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops [from Qatar] is disrespectful against Turkey", he said.

"The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security", he said.

Hurriyet reported last week that a joint military exercise by Qatari and Turkish forces was expected following the Islamic Eid al-Fitr holiday which started today.

He then pointed to the recent crisis in Qatar's ties several other Arab states and said, "The siege of Qatar is not acceptable to us".

"It is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty and outsourcing our foreign policy", said Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani, a government spokesman.

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Having urged Qatar's neighbors to come up with "reasonable and actionable" demands, the US sought to distance itself from the crisis the day after the Arab countries issued a list that included several provisions Qatar had already declared it could not or would not accept.

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

He added the US supports Kuwait's efforts to mediate the conflict and the USA will keep in close contact with all parties.

Qatar's neighbors have voiced loud concerns over its ties with Iran and it is echoed with the demands.

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