The foreign ministers of a Saudi-led bloc boycotting Qatar held talks in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, according to Egypt’s foreign ministry.
The top diplomats of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain met on the sidelines of the Sir Bani Yas Forum, ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said on Twitter.
He said the meeting “reflected common interests”, but without giving more details.
On Friday, Egyptian authorities said Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will attend the 8th annual session of Sir Bani Yas forum to discuss a host of issues, including the Qatari crisis, the Middle East peace process and developments in Iraq and Libya.
The meeting came days after Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Khalid Al Khalifa, suggested explicitly on his Twitter account freezing Qatar’s membership at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The minister also said that Bahrain will not participate in the GCC meetings if Qatar will be present in the upcoming GCC summit.
Qatari general hails Turkey’s support during Gulf crisis
Qatar will not forget Turkey’s support during the embargo imposed by the Gulf states, Qatari Armed Forces’ Centre for Strategic Studies Commander Staff Brigadier General Dr. Hamad Mohamed al-Marri said on Thursday.The third Istanbul Security Conference organized by the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM), National Defense and Security Institute (MSGE) and Nişantaşı University started on Nov. 2 in Istanbul. The embargo and restrictions were discussed in the “Gulf Crisis – Strategic and Security Aspects” session. General Dr. Al-Marri in the session addressed the blockade, which began on June 5 following Egypt’s support, and Turkey-Qatar relations.‘Turkey’s support will leave its mark on history’Al-Marri noted that Turkey’s support to Qatar against the hostile and brutal embargo by the Gulf states meant a lot and that Qatar and its people will never forget Turkey’s support during the crisis.“This support will leave its mark on history; this gratitude will be inscribed in minds,” he said. Stating that the crisis between Qatar and the Gulf states is ongoing, al-Marri said that they set hopes on the conference held in Istanbul.Turkish deputy premier meets Qatari health minister‘Qatar has overcome a difficult period’Qatari Armed Forces’ Strategic Studies Center researcher Dr. Osama Kubbar gave a speech regarding the recent situation following the embargo led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Noting that Qatar has overcome this difficult period, Dr. Kubbar pointed out that the Gulf crisis is actually a regional one.“Turkey is the most important country that supported Qatar during the embargo initiated with the claims of [Qatar] promoting terrorism. We have overcome the crisis thanks to Turkey. We pulled through the embargo thanks to Turkey’s aid.”Doha regrets Bahrain’s move to impose visas on Qataris‘US had a provocative role’Istanbul University Center for Iranian Studies Chairman Prof. Dr. Ahmet Uysal said in his speech in the conference that the crises in the region were provoked by the United States. “It might not be the entire United States, but it is a lobby within the U.S. To put it more clearly, we can consider them as the Neocon Israel Lobby,” he added.Uysal said that Turkey has opposed the embargo on Qatar from day one and tried to find a compromise and mediate between the parties without provoking the embargo states. “It is not possible for Turkey to adopt an attitude such as: ‘Leave the Gulf alone; let them clash.’ Turkey will continue to adopt its current policies. Therefore, we perceive a serious intention and will.”Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Yemen cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. They also imposed a blockade by land, sea and air.A joint declaration accused 59 individuals and 12 charity groups in Qatar of being “linked to terror.” Qatar has called the move "unjustified" and denies the charges.Kuwait emir meets Turkish Deputy PMTurkey, Qatar vow to boost health cooperationBahrain imposes entry visas on Qatari nationals
Turkey, Qatar vow to boost health cooperation
Health Minister Ahmet Demircan met his Qatari counterpart Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari on Tuesday, which the two officials expressed determination to enhance cooperation.In a joint news conference in Ankara, Demircan said: "We believe that developing healthier bilateral relations is only possible through enhanced cooperation in the area of health."He said the "long-rooted friendship and brotherhood" was gaining "great" momentum through bilateral visits."We have expedited our efforts to increase the trade volume [...] between our country and Qatar, which was recorded nearly at $710 million in 2016," he added.Turkey and Qatar last year signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of health and medical sciences as part of efforts to enhance relations.The Qatari minister praised Turkey's health system and asserted relations between the two countries relied on strong and mutual values."The purpose of our visit is to discuss matters of health cooperation between the two countries. The health system in Turkey is quite impressive," she added.
In June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
The four states also threatened Qatar with additional sanctions if it failed to meet a long list of demands, including the closure of Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera.
Qatar, however, has refused to comply, vociferously denying the accusations against it and describing the Saudi-led embargo as a breach of its national sovereignty.
Turkey's exports to Qatar up 90 pct since embargo
Turkey's exports to Qatar rose 29 percent to $382 million year-on-year in the first nine months of 2017, the Aegean Exporters' Association (EIB) said on Monday.The country's exports to Qatar also jumped 90 percent to $216 million during the four months (June to September) following the embargo imposed by some Arab countries on Qatar, according to an EIB statement.The association stated that Turkey's food exports to Qatar surged 98 percent to $114 million in the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.Aquaculture and animal products was the largest food export sector with $38 million, said the group.It added that Turkey's exports to Qatar in the first nine months of 2016 totaled $296.9 million and $114 million in June-September.Qatar's food production meets only 10 percent of the country's domestic consumption, said the association’s Sabri Unluturk."Most food consumption in Qatar is met by imports. And the high purchasing power of Qatar's firms is a great advantage for Turkish food exporters," he added.World Cup and constructionHe stated that ahead of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, the country will need $150 billion of infrastructure and construction work.Nearly one-fifth of world’s 250 largest construction companies are Turkish, second only to China, he stressed.Turkish firms can do many projects in Qatar, and as more Turkish products are used in projects, the country's exports will rise, he stressed.In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain all abruptly cut off diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.Qatar fiercely denied the accusations, blasting the Saudi-led embargo as a breach of its national sovereignty.Turkey's total exports in January to September 2017 reached $114.66 billion, according to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) data.The EIB also took part in the FoodConsumer Industries Exhibition (Oct. 26-29) in Doha to promote Turkish foods and represent Turkish exporters.Qatar FM al-Thani to visit TurkeyQatar to invest $20 billion in Turkey in 2018
Qatar emir says open to Trump-hosted talks over Gulf crisis
Qatar's ruler said he is ready for U.S.-hosted direct talks aimed at solving the worst diplomatic crisis in the Gulf in years but has yet to hear a response to U.S. President Donald Trump's invitation to the four Arab states boycotting Doha.Speaking to U.S. broadcaster CBS News, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said he wanted an end to the dispute, which erupted on June 5 and pits Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt against Qatar."Nothing is going to be above our dignity, our sovereignty. But we want it to end. I always say that," he told the "60 Minutes" programme in an interview aired on Sunday. "If they (are) going to walk one metre toward me, I'm willing to walk 10,000 miles towards them," he said.The four countries have cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar, the world's top seller of liquefied natural gas, accusing it of financing terrorism. Doha denies the charges.The dispute has hit travel and food imports and ratcheted up tensions in a wealthy region which plays a leading role in global energy markets as well as events across the wider Middle East.On Sunday, Bahrain's foreign minister called for freezing Qatar's membership out of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to preserve its unity, adding that Bahrain will not attend the upcoming GCC summit if Qatar does not change its stand.Qatar hosts Al Udeid air base, the largest U.S. military facility in the Middle East.Sheikh Tamim said Trump had told him "I will not accept my friends fighting amongst themselves," and that in talks on the sidelines of a United Nations' meeting in September he had made an offer to host talks in the United States."I told him straightaway, 'Mr President, we are very ready. I've been asking for dialogue from day one," Sheikh Tamim said, adding that the meeting was supposed to happen very soon and that he had not heard a response from the other countries.Trump, who has said he would be willing to mediate in the dispute, said in September he had a "very strong feeling" it would be solved "pretty quickly".Earlier in September, Saudi Arabia suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of "distorting facts," just after a report of a phone call between the leaders of the two countries suggested a possible breakthrough in the dispute.Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke by phone with Qatar's emir on Sept. 8 in the first publicly reported contact between the two leaders since the crisis began.There has been no further contact reported since then.In the CBS interview, Sheikh Tamim reiterated that Qatar would not close down the Doha-based Al Jazeera television network, as demanded by the four countries who accuse the broadcaster of bias and interfering in their affairs.Al Jazeera says it is an independent news service giving a voice to everyone in the region.Sheikh Tamim also said he feared for the region if any military actions were taken as part of the crisis."I'm fearful that if anything happens, if any military act happens, this region will be in chaos," he said.