Wednesday, January 17, 2018 | ePaper

Qatar's isolation violates Islamic values, says Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan

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Reuters, Ankara :
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan denounced the isolation of Qatar by neighbouring states as a violation of Islamic values and tantamount to a "death penalty" against Doha in a crisis reverberating through the Middle East and beyond.
Erdogan's comments marked the strongest intervention yet by a powerful regional ally of Doha eight days after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed stringent economic sanctions on it.
Qatar denies the allegations of supporting Islamist militants and Iran.
The measures against Qatar, a small oil and gas exporter with a population of 2.7 million people, have disrupted imports of food and other materials and caused some foreign banks to scale back business.
Qatar, which imported 80 percent of its food from bigger Gulf Arab neighbours before the diplomatic shutdown, has also been talking to Iran and Turkey to secure food and water.
"A very grave mistake is being made in Qatar, isolating a nation in all areas is inhumane and against Islamic values. It's as if a death penalty decision has been taken for Qatar," Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party in Ankara.
"Qatar has showed the most decisive stance against terrorist organisation Islamic State alongside Turkey. Victimising Qatar through smear campaigns serves no purpose."
Turkey has maintained good relations with Qatar as well as several of its Gulf Arab neighbours. Turkey and Qatar have both provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and backed rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Gulf Arab states have issued no public demands; but a list that has been circulating includes severance of diplomatic relations with Iran, expulsion of all members of the Palestinian Hamas group and of the Muslim Brotherhood, the freezing of all bank accounts of Hamas members, ending support for "terrorist organizations" and ceasing interference in Egyptian affairs.

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