Erdogan rejects Arab demands; Turkish troops stay in Qatar

Four Arab states that imposed a boycott on Qatar have issued an ultimatum to Doha to close al-Jazeera television, curb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish base and pay reparations, demands so far reaching it would appear to be hard for Doha to comply.

The four countries also want Qatar to reduce its ties with Iran and close a Turkish military base, setting a deadline on Friday of 10 days.

"Even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops (from Qatar) is disrespectful against Turkey", Erdogan said.

On June 5, five Arab states - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen - abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Both Turkey and Iran have increased their food supplies to Qatar, since Saudi Arabia began the blockade.

Turkey has been a powerful and outspoken regional ally of Qatar after the Arab countries cut diplomatic ties.

A top United Arab Emirates official said monitors from the United States and the European Union would be needed to "guarantee" any potential agreement aimed at ending the dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors.

He urged the sides to continue negotiations by saying that it would be a "productive step", adding that the United States believes its allies are "stronger when they are working together".

Earlier on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Qatar's stand on the list of demands, saying that the Saudi-Emirati-led ultimatum is "against global law".

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"This approach of 13 demands is against worldwide law because you can't attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country", Erdogan said in Istanbul, in his strongest statement of support yet for Qatar in this three- week-old crisis.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt as well as the internationally recognized government of war-torn Yemen broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in a major worldwide rift on June 5, 2017.

The disagreement between Egypt and the three GCC countries and Qatar is not a matter of sovereignty but of its support for extremism and terrorism, Dr Gargash said. Also on June 23, the White House said it considers the deepening crisis in the Gulf to be primarily "a family issue", urging regional leaders to chart a way out while offering USA help in enabling talks. Sheikh Saif Al Thani, director of Qatar's government communications office, said the list of demands falls short of Tillerson's "reasonable and actionable" test and were instead an effort to limit the country's sovereignty.

Tillerson had called on the bloc to spell out exactly what Qatar must do to end the diplomatic and economic isolation imposed almost three weeks ago. "Each country involved has something to contribute to that effort", he said.

The Turkish parliament ratified a 2014 agreement with Qatar earlier this month, allowing the deployment of troops to its base there.

Having urged Qatar's neighbours to come up with "reasonable and actionable" demands, the USA has sought to distance itself from the crisis.

Qatari citizens were expelled from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, which also banned their own citizens from entering Qatar.

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