(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Kamila Aliyeva
Positive steps to resolve the Gulf crisis can be observed as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to visit the regional countries and Saudi-led block drops some of the requirements for Qatar to comply with.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus stated that Ankara can act as a mediator for resolving the crisis around Qatar, with which a number of Arab countries severed diplomatic relations.
"The president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] will listen to the parties [of the conflict], but Saudi Arabia should abandon the plan, which includes 13 demands, and should review it," the vice premier said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
"As for Qatar, it should take a positive stance that will put the beginning of the negotiations, and Turkey can be a mediator," he added.
Kurtulmus noted that Turkey had no plans to shut its military base in Qatar, where a new contingent of troops arrived on July 19, saying it was not aimed against any of Qatar's neighbours.
He also said that Turkey and Qatar were planning to conduct military exercises in coming days and that U.S. forces may join in the exercises.
Erdogan is expected to visit Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on July 23-24 as part of efforts to resolve the Persian Gulf conflict.
On July 19, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt reduced the list of requirements for Qatar and urged Doha to commit to six common 'principles' on combating "extremism" and "terrorism", and to negotiate a plan with specific measures to implement them without a specific time-frame.
These principles include commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all their forms and to prevent their financing, suspending all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence, full compliance with the Riyadh Agreement of 2013, adherence to all the outcomes of the Arab Islamic American Summit held in May 2017, and refraining from interference in the internal affairs of states.
The new list does not require the closure of the entire Al-Jazeera network, and immediately expel all members of Islamist organizations from Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain in early June cut off diplomatic relations, severed air, land and sea links with Qatar, accusing the latter of supporting terrorism, and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries within two weeks.
In early July, the Arab states sent a list of demand and required Doha to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Turkish military base, eliminate Al-Jazeera TV channel, extradite all persons wanted in four countries on charges of terrorism and pay compensation. Doha refused to fulfill these requirements calling thelistunrealistic and not actionable.
Kuwait acts as the main mediator in the crisis.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow her on Twitter:
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