Turkey's Erdogan condemns Qatar blockade 'death sentence'

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Maldives have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of fueling extremism and terrorism.

Erdogan also defended Qatar by saying that Doha has taken decisive stand against the Islamic State. Qatar's adoption of a conciliatory stance toward Iran, a Shiite power, and its supporting terrorist groups are cited as reasons for these actions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Saudi Arabian King Salman, the elder statesman in the Gulf region, to take the lead in resolving the ongoing crisis over Qatar.

Erdogan is scheduled to talk with US President Donald Trump in the coming days about Qatar situation, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.

He denied that Qatar supported groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that its neighbours oppose, or had warm ties with their enemy Iran.

As the Qatari crisis unfolded, Erdogan nearly immediately announced "full support" for Doha, stating that "we don't find sanctions against Qatar right". If its natural gas supplies to other countries are restricted, it could send gas prices soaring.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards, a powerful branch of the country's military, vowed revenge for the attacks and blamed them on longstanding regional rival Saudi Arabia. Home to one of the biggest USA military bases in the region, Qatar is a significant hub in the fight against Daesh.

Egypt, UAE along with Bahrain last week cut diplomatic ties with Qatar following footsteps of the wealthiest nation of Saudi Arabia and further suspended air, land and sea routes with the Energy-rich Gulf nation.

The only flight avenue open at present is through Iranian airspace.

"This decision was made in conformity with Islamic precepts that call for solidarity and mutual aid between Muslim people, notably during this holy month of Ramadan", the Moroccan foreign ministry statement said.

Turkey's parliament last week approved deploying troops to a Turkish base in Qatar in what was seen as a show of support for its embattled ally.

The president has previously spoken by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in a bid to ease the row.

  • Zachary Reyes