Erdogan rejects Arab demands; Turkish troops stay in Qatar

Erdogan rejects Arab demands; Turkish troops stay in Qatar

Erdogan rejects Arab demands; Turkish troops stay in Qatar

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said an ultimatum issued to Qatar is "against global law" and claimed calls to withdraw his troops from the Gulf emirate are "disrespectful".

He said he had offered to set up a military base in Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar but that Riyadh had not responded.

Speaking after Eid al-Fitr prayers in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the demand to pull the Turkish troops "disrespectful" and said his country would not seek permission from others when making its defense cooperation agreements.

They accuse Qatar of backing terrorism - a charge it denies. Mr Erdogan gave his full support to Qatar's response to the demands of the Gulf States.

"We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism", Tillerson said.

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 has fired back with its own demands, arguing that it will not negotiate with these four Arab countries as long as the economic and diplomatic blockade continued.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt as well as the internationally recognized government of war-torn Yemen broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in a major worldwide rift on June 5, 2017.

Iranians hold annual anti-Israel rallies, displays missile
In a speech to the crowd in the capital, parliament speaker Ali Larijani called Israel the "mother of terrorism". State media say similar demonstrations are underway in other cities and towns in Iran.

"This blockade is not aimed at fighting terrorism but at impinging on Qatar's sovereignty and interfering in its foreign policy".

The demands include the closure of Qatar's Al Jazeera news network and other Doha-backed media outlets, the shutting of a permanent Turkish military base, and ending support to the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated groups.

The Iran provisions in the document say Qatar must shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, kick out from Qatar any members of the Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, and only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US sanctions.

He said diplomacy remained a priority, but added that mediation efforts to resolve the dispute had been undermined by the public disclosure of 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. The four Arab governments delivered the demands to Qatar through mediator Kuwait on June 22, more than two weeks after severing all ties with the emirate and imposing an embargo.

"Any call to close down or curtail Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to muzzle a voice of democracy in the region and suppress freedom of expression", Giles Trendle, the acting managing director of Al-Jazeera English, said from its Doha headquarters.

Qatari citizens were expelled from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, which also banned their own citizens from entering Qatar.

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