Egypt Independent

Qatar emir due in Turkey for first trip since Gulf crisis



Turkey said Thursday it wants Qatar and its Arab neighbors to overcome differences through dialogue and a “brotherly” manner as Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was set to arrive in Ankara on his first foreign trip since a diplomatic crisis erupted.

Al Thani is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss ties as well as the three-month-old diplomatic rift between the Gulf neighbors.

“We support a resolution of the crisis through a brotherly manner and through dialogue,” Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s spokesman, told reporters. “This crisis only serves the enemies of this region.”

Turkey has been trying to mediate between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors but has also shown solidarity with Doha in the crisis by delivering food and other supplies and boosting military ties, including sending troops to a Turkish base there.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar in June over its close ties to Iran and its alleged support for extremists.

Qatar has denied supporting extremism, saying the crisis is politically motivated.

The prime minister of Kuwait, which is mediating the crisis, was also in Ankara on Thursday for talks with Turkish leaders. It was not clear if Al Thani and Kuwait’s Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah would meet in Ankara.

Al Thani is scheduled to travel on to Germany for a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.