June 5, 2017 / 11:02 AM / 4 months ago

Turkey calls for dialogue over Qatar rift with Arab states

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference at Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, Turkey, March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir/Files

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey called on Monday for dialogue to resolve a dispute between Qatar and other Arab states, and a government spokesman said President Tayyip Erdogan was working for a diplomatic solution to the rift.

“We see the stability in the Gulf region as our own unity and solidarity,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference.

“Countries may of course have some issues, but dialogue must continue under every circumstance for problems to be resolved peacefully. We are saddened by the current picture and will give any support for its normalisation,” Cavusoglu said.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

Turkey, which has good relations with Qatar as well as several of its Gulf Arab neighbours, wanted to help resolve the dispute, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said.

“Our president is carrying out phone diplomacy, and we are hoping for a diplomatic solution through dialogue,” Kurtulmus told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said regional solidarity was needed more than ever in a time of deep instability and crises in various countries of the region.

“Turkey...is ready to do what is required of it to find a solution in the shortest period to this disagreement between fraternal countries,” it said in a statement.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Daren Butler

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