Istanbul, July 18 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar to mediate in the diplomatic crisis between the Gulf countries, officials said on Tuesday.
Erdogan had already announced this trip, then not dated, after returning from the G20 summit in Germany and said he would make efforts to resolve the conflict between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt with Qatar over its alleged support to terrorist organisations, Efe news reported.
The Turkish President said at the time that the solution lay through dialogue and after July 15 he may make a special trip. Now confirmed by the presidency, his trip will take place on Sunday and Monday.
Although Turkey maintains good relations with Saudi Arabia, in this conflict Ankara clearly aligned itself with Qatar, sending not only numerous aircraft and ships with food and other products to alleviate the Saudi embargo, but also a military contingent, in a clear gesture of diplomatic support.
Since last year, Turkey had kept a small group of military instructors in the emirate to train Qatari forces, but at the end of June it sent a new contingent.
Erdogan criticised the demands, put forward by Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies to restore relations with Qatar, as being contrary to international law.
In mid-June, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu travelled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to try to resolve the crisis but acknowledged that he did not make any progress.