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Turkey support for Qatar is ‘strategic mistake’

Commentators warn that Qatar could face more sanctions if it continues to ignore the demands of the Arab Quartet

Image Credit: AP
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani shake hands during a ceremony in Doha, Qatar.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Qatar held joint military exercises with Turkish troops on Monday, amid boiling tensions between Doha and its Arab neighbours.

Turkey sided with Qatar after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain called it a supporter of terrorism, and cut off diplomatic ties and transport links.

Turkey and Qatar maintain ideological ties, as Turkey’s ruling party has Islamist roots and Doha is a main backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, which its Arab opponents deem a terrorist organisation.

Speaking to Gulf News, leading Emirati political analyst, Yousuf Al Hassan, warned that Turkey was making a strategic mistake.

“It has not learned its lesson yet from Syria,” he said.

Qatar has yet to address a list of 13 demands the Arab Quartet made in order to restore relations.

“Qatari leaders’ stubbornness is sin that will cost them in the future,” Al Hassan added.

“Neither Turkey nor Iran have the antidote for the Qatar crisis.”

Salem Ali Al Shehi, a member of the Federal National Council, said the Qatar-Turkey show of force will further complicate the situation in the Gulf, inviting more sanctions on Qatar “which could inflict the worst damage to Qatar’s economy in history”.

Al Shehi added the Arab quartet has taken decisive measures against Qatar and will not compromise when it comes to matters of security.

Meanwhile, two US envoys were expected in Kuwait later Monday.

General Anthony Zinni, a retired former head of US Central Command, and another US diplomat will visit the four Arab states before heading to Qatar.