Ankara, July 26: The Qatar rift that started on June 5 is going to continue for a long time now. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who went to the Middle East has arrived empty handed in Qatar. The group of Arab countries - followed by a handful of other Muslim nations - abruptly cut off all diplomatic and trade ties with tiny Qatar on 5 June, alleging that the state interfered in the affairs of its neighbours and funded terror organisations. Qatar vehemently denies all the allegations against it, claiming the crisis is politically motivated.
Erdogan flew in to Doha on Monday afternoon from Kuwait, which has been leading mediation attempts between Qatar and a bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt. Turkey protects the Middle East and Europe from ISIS invasion but very much enjoys its trade relations with Egypt, Riyadh and also Qatar. In fact, Turkey has its army base in Doha which was opened last year.
From his meeting with King Salman in Saudi Arabia, nothing much has been gained as he received a very cold reception in Jeddah. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman focused more on the lines of counter-terrorism. The UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Relations, Anwar al-Gargash, reiterated last week that Qatar must review its policies because repeating its previous positions only "deepens the crisis".