Qatar ‘grateful’ for Turkey’s support during blockade

‘The crisis should end with a political solution by the participation of international actors,’ al-Thani says

Qatar is “very thankful and grateful” for Turkey’s support during its current diplomatic crisis with neighboring Gulf states that began earlier this month, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdurrahman Al-Thani said Thursday.

Turkey has always had a long and strong relationship with Qatar but that nexus does not mean Ankara’s ties to other Gulf nations should be undermined, al-Thani said at a panel discussion in the U.S. capital that focused on how to resolve the crisis.

“Turkey has been supporting Qatar with supply chain because of the blockade which [has] been effected and, urges the parties to engage in a dialogue,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates abruptly cut ties with Qatar on June 5, citing Doha’s support for terrorism.

Doha denies the accusations and has rejected a 13-point list of demands it received from the four countries to restore ties.

Al-Thani said much of the assertions about Qatar were unfounded and that his country is ready to talk with its neighbors to solve the issues.

“As long as it does not violate our independence and our national sovereignty, we are ready to sit down with our neighbors and talk about all the problems,” al-Sani said. “The crisis should end with a political solution by the participation of international actors.”

He described as “very productive” a meeting earlier this week with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, three weeks after the U.S. state department voiced confusion over the Saudi-backed embargo of the country.

Al-Thani believes Tillerson is working hard to resolve the crisis and hopes those efforts will be successful.