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Turkish FM holds talks in Kuwait over Gulf crisis

By AFP - Jun 16,2017 - Last updated at Jun 16,2017

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (left) and Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah (right) shake hands during their meeting in Kuwait City on Thursday (Anadolu Agency photo)

KUWAIT CITY — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday held talks in Kuwait to push mediation efforts aimed at resolving a standoff between a Saudi-led alliance and Qatar.

Cavusoglu discussed with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Sabah "regional and international developments," the official KUNA news agency said.

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has launched a mediation effort after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism.

The Turkish chief diplomat held talks with Qatar's emir and foreign minister on Wednesday and plans to visit Saudi Arabia.

Ahead of the talks in Kuwait, Cavusoglu told a press conference that he will travel to the holy city of Mecca on Friday for talks with King Salman.

"Although the kingdom is a party in this crisis, we know that King Salman is a party in resolving it," the Turkish minister said.

"We want to hear the views of Saudi Arabia regarding possible solutions and will share with them our views in a transparent way... We pay a great attention to our relations with them," he said.

Cavusoglu said Qatari officials believe they are not the cause of the current crisis and want to know the claims of the four countries.

"We are trying hard to prevent any escalation and find a quick solution to the crisis... Resolving the crisis is not through taking [boycott] decisions but through dialogue," Cavusoglu said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism".

US President Donald Trump expressed support for the allegations against Doha, which categorically denied them.

The crisis has put Turkey in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving relations with the key regional power Saudi Arabia.

 

Turkey is also eager to maintain workable relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia's foe with whom Doha's critics say Qatar maintained excessively close ties.

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