Turkey refuses to pull out troops from Qatar, citing sovereign rights

Claudine Rigal
Juin 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, have issued 13 demands that they want Qatar to meet in return for an end to the almost three-week-old diplomatic and trade "blockade".

Morocco offered to mediate a solution between the Gulf countries, saying that it "was ready to offer its good offices with a view to promote a frank and comprehensive dialogue on the basis of no-interference in internal affairs and the fight against religious extremism".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt say Doha must comply with the 13-point ultimatum by July 3 in order for them to lift a two-week-old economic and diplomatic blockade on Qatar, which they accuse of supporting terrorism and fostering ties with Iran.

In the phone call that was initiated by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Sunday evening, Dr Rouhani congratulated him on Eid Al-Fitr and said: "Helping Qatar's economy and developing special ties between the private sectors of the two countries can be common goals for us". The demand for Turkish troops to leave their base in Qatar - their first in the Middle East - drew a fiery response from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Sunday, who called the ultimatum "a very, very ugly approach" that was "disrespectful" and "against global law".

On Saturday, Qatar's foreign minister rejected the list of 13 conditions imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain.

Qatar officials have dismissed the list as unrealistic and unfair.

These include an immediate closure of Qatar's Al Jazeera TV station, a halt to its military cooperation with Turkey, cutting off of relations with Iran and payments of reparations.

He added that a lowering of rhetoric would "help ease the tension" and that the United States would continue to support the mediation efforts of the emir of Kuwait.

The department did not comment on the list of demands on June 23, but the White House appeared to distance itself from the dispute, calling it a "family issue" that should be sorted out among the Arab states. Tillerson also reiterated that the common goal of the U.S., the Gulf States and Qatar is "stopping terrorism and countering extremism" and added that "each country involved has something to contribute to that effort". The Arab countries have given Doha a 10-day deadline to meet the demands.

Qatar's National Human Rights Committee said some of the demands violate global human rights conventions, according to a Qatar News Agency story tweeted Friday by the foreign ministry.

Mr Erdogan's ruling AK Party has its roots in Islamist politics and, like Qatar, supported Muslim Brotherhood groups during and after the Arab Spring.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called Al-Thani on Sunday to reiterate Tehran's policy to "cement ties" with Doha.

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