Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani called measures to isolate Qatar imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and others “an act of aggression”, adding that lifting them was a “pre-condition” for talks.
Qatar has denied accusations by its neighbours that it funds terrorism, foments regional instability or has cosied up to their enemy Iran. Egypt emphasized that today in a meeting with the crown price of Abu Dhabi, claiming that the support for terror in the region involves providing them “media cover”.
Turkey will continue to help Qatar and plans to send the Gulf country another aid ship carrying 11 tons of humanitarian aid, according to the economy minister on Monday.
“They may be a bit more cautious and careful as they go forward but we’re not seeing a significant uptake in deferrals or cancellations at this point”, he said.
“We have had a lot of cancellations, especially to the four countries that did this illegal blockade, but we have found new markets and this is our growth strategy”, he said, adding Qatar was not the only country affected by the crisis.
Turkey is one of the few powerful countries in the region willing to openly show its support for Qatar.
In a statement Monday, the Qatar government said those governments were “using terrorism as a publicity stunt”.
In an interview with Reuters in late 2015, Ahmet Demirok, the then Turkish ambassador to Qatar, said 3,000 ground troops would eventually be deployed at the base, planned to serve primarily as a venue for joint training exercises. “It remains business as usual, and we intend to keep it that way”, its chief executive Yousef al-Jaida said.
“Qatar is home to one of the largest and most important USA military bases in the Mideast, al-Udaid, where 10,000 U.S. servicemen are stationed”.
They were later joined by Libya, Yemen, the Maldives, Mauritius and Mauritania, with Jordan and Djibouti announcing they would lower the level of diplomatic contacts with Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain had given their citizens a June 19 deadline to leave Qatar, a deadline which came into force on Monday. The three Gulf states and Egypt blocked access to Qatar’s Al-Jazeera satellite news channel and other Qatari news websites.