As part of Turkey’s renewed mediation efforts, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz to discuss the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the Saudi-led quartet.
The two leaders on Sunday addressed bilateral ties and regional developments, in addition to the efforts being exerted to fight terrorism, Xinhua news agency reported.
Erdogan’s Gulf tour, which will also take him to Qatar and Kuwait, came amid Turkey’s new diplomatic offensive aimed at brokering an end to the Gulf standoff. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu conducted a Gulf tour to mediate the standoff early last month without achieving major results.
The Saudi-led quartet, which also includes the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed a blockade on the tiny rich Gulf nation.
Turkey has publicly sided with Qatar, with which it has expansive economic and security ties, while criticizing the Saudi-led blockade as inhumane.
Earlier Sunday, Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul before leaving for Saudi Arabia that Turkey is seeking an immediate resolution for the ongoing diplomatic row in the Gulf.
“Nobody has any interest in prolonging this crisis anymore,” Erdogan said.
Among the 13 demands put forward by the Saudi-led bloc included the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar. Turkey has deployed a number of troops in the base recently in a move aimed at bolstering Qatar’s defiance in face of sanctions and threat from its neighbors.