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Erdogan to visit Qatar and Saudi amid Gulf crisis

Istanbul, Turkey | AFP | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will this month visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are locked in a deep diplomatic crisis, his office announced Tuesday.

Erdogan will also visit Kuwait, the main mediator in the Qatar crisis, during his July 23-24 tour.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Ankara would continue to play a “constructive and active” role to help solve what he described as a “pointless” crisis.

Yildirim added Erdogan’s visit would be part of this effort.

Erdogan is expected to visit Saudi Arabia then Kuwait on July 23 followed by Qatar on July 24, according to private news agency Dogan.

Turkey is a key ally of Qatar, which has been diplomatically and economically isolated by its Gulf neighbours over allegations it supports terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain last month cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and issued 13 wide-ranging demands to lift the blockade, including the closure of a Turkish military base in the emirate.

The crisis has put Turkey in a delicate position as Qatar is its main ally in the Gulf but Ankara does not want to antagonise key regional power Saudi Arabia.

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