Turkish, Qatari leaders meet for first time since Gulf rift

Jerome Frank
September 16, 2017

Qatar has confidence in German firms and will hold on to stakes in Deutsche Bank DBGn.DE and Volkswagen VOWGn.DE, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Friday.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, accusing the major gas-exporting Gulf state of financing terrorism and cozying up to their arch-rival Iran.

Few countries, including Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian government which came to power after toppling the country's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

Speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, the sources said Erdogan and Al-Thani also agreed that a diplomatic solution should be found to the Qatar crisis.

While other Qatari officials have flown around the world this summer to garner support for the nation, the Emir initially remained at home.

The Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in Geneva, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, clarified the states position in a statement, following the speech by the Qatari delegate, during the panel discussion of the unilateral coercive measures and human rights at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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"His picking of Turkey as his first trip overseas after the crisis shows that he was trying to find out what kind of role Turkey could take in the negotiations", said Cahit Tuz, who is an expert in Middle East affairs, and deputy chairman of the Oriental Research Centre based in Istanbul. "Cutting diplomatic ties suddenly, closing worldwide airspace and sea routes - all of which are the steps when one wants to attack a country - were signs of plans for a military intervention", he said.

Qatar has so far refused to acquiesce to stipulations that include closing Al Jazeera, distancing itself from Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in Doha.

Al Zaabi said that the four countries welcome the convening of the panel and restate their condemnation of the imposition of coercive measures because they are contrary to global laws and represent violations of human rights.

Sheikh Tamim will hold talks on "bilateral ties and regional issues as well as worldwide developments", Turkey's presidential office said in a statement.

The bloc later modified the demands and reduced it to six broad principles, excluding the closure of Al Jazeera from the list. In Ankara, the two leaders "stressed the need for a resolution through diplomatic means" to the crisis, according to Erdogan's office.

The two leaders also discussed the most prominent regional and global events and exchanged views on them, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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