Turkey hopes for quick end to 'artificial' Gulf crisis

The Gulf state has been in the midst of a diplomatic crisis since Saudi Arabia accused it of sponsoring terrorism.

Families have been affected - including those with a Qatari spouse - and students in Qatar from all over the GCC have been caught up in the crisis.

Saudi Arabia has led other Arab nations in cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar on June 5 over allegations the nation supports extremists. Qatar also shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran, requiring them to stay in communication.

The incident came at a time of diplomatic crisis between Qatar and neighbouring Gulf countries. Last week Riyadh, along with several other countries, severed ties with Qatar, citing its alleged support for "terrorism" and of Iran as reasons. Though both it and Saudi Arabia practice an ultra-conservative form of Sunni Islam called Wahhabism, Qatar allows women to drive and foreigners to drink alcohol.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Adel Al-Jobeir said during his visit to London that a list of grievances involving Qatar is being drawn up and will be presented in Doha very soon.

The blockade gives the Saudis an opportunity to demonstrate their strength at a time when they are trying to position themselves as the leader of an Islamic military alliance, battling Houthi rebels in Yemen and Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, analysts said. Qatar, unlike Iraq, which in August 1990 had occupied Kuwait, is not involved in any aggression and can not be punished by imposing sanctions on dubious charges of sponsoring terrorism and terrorist groups in the Middle East.

"If Qatar was to do anything like that, in Dubai the lights would probably go off", said Christopher Davidson, a professor of Middle East politics at Durham University in Britain.

The current dispute in the region is an extension of a 2014 row, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain temporarily recalled their ambassadors from Doha over what they said to be Qatar's support for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel is also reportedly considering shutting down Al-Jazeera's bureau in the country.

There are a number of converging interests between Turkey and Qatar, he says.

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is cancelling his scheduled trip to an Organization of American States meeting in Mexico next week.

  • Zachary Reyes