Erdogan rejects Arab demands; Turkish troops stay in Qatar

Posted June 26, 2017

The demands state that Qatar should stop all forms of Qatari funding of any terrorist or extremist individuals, entities or organizations and extradite all terrorist individuals wanted by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

"We approve and appreciate the attitude of Qatar against the list of 13 demands", said Erdogan, speaking outside a mosque in Istanbul.

The move has left Qatar, whose only land border is shared with Saudi Arabia, under a de facto blockade by its neighbours. Qatar is home to the largest US base in the region, Al-Udeid, and Bahrain is home to the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy. "In this context NHRC urged the state of Qatar not to accept those demands", the article said. "It's very hard for us to maintain a collective grouping with one of the partners. actively promoting what is an extremist and terrorist agenda".

His warning comes hours after Qatar disclosed the 13 demands, presented by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt through Kuwait that is acting as a mediator to defuse the crisis.

The demands called for the creation of a 10-year mechanism to ensure Qatar is complying with the agreement.

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Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt as well as the internationally recognized government of war-torn Yemen broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in a major global rift on June 5, 2017.

The demands are apparently aimed at dismantling Qatar's two-decade-old interventionist foreign policy, which has incensed its Arab neighbours.

Nearly two dozen Turkish troops also arrived in Qatar as Ankara boosts military support for Doha.

The Iran provisions in the document say Qatar must shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, kick out from Qatar any members of the Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, and only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with USA sanctions.

"Moments after Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the list of demands on June 22, Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of the Qatari government's communications office said the illegal blockade is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty".

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After the demands were made on Friday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the dispute was "a family issue" that the countries should work out together.

Having urged Qatar's neighbours to come up with "reasonable and actionable" demands, the U.S. has sought to distance itself from the crisis.

Erdogan also said, in the address, the requests for the Turkish military base in Qatar to be closed were disrespectful. Also on June 23, the White House said it considers the deepening crisis in the Gulf to be primarily "a family issue", urging regional leaders to chart a way out while offering US help in enabling talks.

Al Jazeera accused them of trying to silence freedom of expression, adding: "We assert our right to practise our journalism professionally without bowing to pressure from any government or authority".

Qatar Airways was blocked from entering Saudi, Egyptian, Emirati, and Bahraini airspace.

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