Erdogan’s Gulf diplomacy

TRUE to his declared objective of promoting peace, amity and brotherhood among all Islamic nations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken practical steps for reduction of tension between Qatar and its neighbouring Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Turkish leader had detailed discussions with leaderships in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar brightening prospects for resumption of talks for sorting out differences that caused a rift between Qatar and its neighbours.
Erdogan’s Gulf diplomacy was in line with his general reputation as champion of Muslim causes and his forthright stand on issues of core interest to Ummah especially Middle East and Jammu & Kashmir. That his Gulf tour produced desired results became evident from the statements of the leaders of host countries. Khadim-i-Harmain Sharifain King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Emir-i- Qatar Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al Thani and Kuwaiti leadership all appreciated his efforts and assured of their sincere cooperation in resolving the unfortunate conflict that is impacting upon unity and solidarity of the Ummah. Though it is unnatural to expect a breakthrough in one go but there are indications that ultimately the issues involved would be sorted out. President Erdogan has excellent relations both with Saudi and Qatari leaders and is better placed to play a mediatory role. No doubt, Turkey has a military base in Qatar and also has close economic ties but it has more trade with Saudi Arabia and UAE than Qatar, therefore, it is in its own interest to strike a balance in its reconciliation efforts. A thaw is already visible as Doha has amended its anti-terror laws, moving closer to meeting one of the most crucial demands made by the other side for normalisation of ties. We hope that as a consequence of visit of the Turkish leader, things would crystallise further and the two sides would start taking confidence-building measures for ultimate restoration of normalcy in their relations.

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