Turkey's Erdogan slams Qatar blockade as “inhumane”

By bne IntelliNews June 13, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the isolation of Qatar by its Gulf neighbours as “inhumane and against Islamic values”.

“It is as if a death sentence has been passed on Qatar,” Erdogan said in a speech delivered in Ankara on June 13 at the ruling AKP’s parliamentary group meeting.

Ankara has thrown its weight behind Qatar since a diplomatic crisis erupted last week when several Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, led by Saudi Arabia, cut diplomatic, as well as land, sea and air, links with the Doha government over alleged support provided to radical Islamist and terrorist movements and what they describe as Qatar’s collaboration with their regional arch-rival Iran.

“Isolating the people of a nation is inhumane and it is against Islamic values,” Erdogan said in Ankara. He called the sanctions against Qatar “a grave mistake”.

“Qatar has not supported terrorism, on the contrary it is a country that has stood up against Islamic State alongside Turkey,” Erdogan added.

Both Turkey and Iran are sending gas-rich but import-dependent Qatar daily deliveries of foodstuffs to help the nation overcome the effects of the blockade being mounted against it. They are also allowing Qatar Airways to divert international flights through their airspace when required.

The Turkish president urged Saudi Arabia to lead efforts to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

Erdogan added that he was set to hold a conference call with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani to discuss the crisis, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Earlier on June 13, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Erdogan was due to discuss the Qatar row with American counterpart Donald Trump in coming days.

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