Turkey vows to stand by ‘Qatari brothers’ amid crisis

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has requested the full removal of a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar after approving the deployment of Turkish troops there, saying Riyadh needed to put brotherhood ahead of animosity.

Erdogan said isolating Qatar would not resolve any regional problems and vowed to do everything in his power to help end the regional crisis.

“We will not abandon our Qatari brothers,” Erdogan told members of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party at a fast-breaking meal on Friday in Istanbul during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“I also have a special request from the Saudi administration. You are the largest and most powerful state in the Gulf. We call you the Custodian of the Holy Places. You especially should work for brotherhood, not animosity. You have to work for bringing brothers together. This is what we expect from Saudi, the Custodian of the Holy Mosques.

“I say it should be lifted completely,” Erdogan said of the embargo.

Late on Thursday, a joint statement by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE accused 59 individuals and 12 charity organisations in Qatar of being “linked to terror”.

Speaking about the allegations, Erdogan said: “There is no such thing. I know those foundations.”

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