ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed the economic and political isolation of Qatar as inhumane and contrary to Islamic values after key Gulf states broke off ties with Ankara´s ally.
“Taking action to isolate a country in all areas is inhumane and un-Islamic,” Erdogan said in televised comments to his party in Ankara, after Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”.
In his strongest comments yet on the crisis, Erdogan added that Qatar was a country “on which a death sentenced had in some way been pronounced”.
The crisis has put Turkey in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving relations with the key regional power Saudi Arabia.
Turkey also is eager to maintain workable relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia´s foe with whom Doha´s critics say Qatar maintained excessively close ties.
Erdogan added he would hold three-way phone talks on the crisis later Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatar´s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. No reports of the talks had materialised by midnight on Tuesday.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Qatar on Wednesday for talks with the emir, the foreign ministry said.
Cavusoglu will also hold talks with Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, a ministry statement said, adding “recent regional developments” would be discussed, without giving further details.