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Turkey's Erdogan backs Qatar, says calls to shut base "disrespectful"

Turkey's Erdogan backs Qatar, says calls to shut base

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Ergodan said on Sunday that he backed Qatar's response to a list of demands issued by Arab states boycotting the Gulf emirate, and said calls to shut down a Turkish military base there were disrespectful.

"It would be wiser that (Qatar) deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours or a divorce will take place", he wrote on Twitter. The top United Arab Emirates official says the Arab countries isolating Qatar do not seek to force out the country's leadership but are willing to cut ties with it if it does not agree to their demands.

The country's foreign minister characterized the conditions as unreasonable and unactionable.

On Thursday, the four nations presented a rigid 13-point ultimatum to Doha, giving the country a ten day deadline to comply if it wants the air, land and sea blockade lifted.

He said Turkey would continue to support Qatar against the many sanctions it has faced since several Arab countries moved earlier this month to isolate the country for its alleged support of terrorism. The energy-rich country said it was reviewing the ultimatum but added it would not negotiate under siege.

The demands from the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Egyptians and the Bahrainis amount to a sweeping overhaul of Qatar's foreign policy and natural gas-funded influence peddling in the region.

The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this month over allegations that it funds terrorism - an accusation USA president Donald Trump has echoed.

"These rules are the diplomatic solution that requires Qatar to change its approach regarding support of extremism and terrorism", stated the minister.

The document which has not been published but has been widely leaked includes the closure of Al-Jazeera television, a long-standing source of conflict between Doha and neighbouring countries which accuse it of fomenting regional strife.

The United Arab Emirates has said the list was meant to be confidential, and it has accused Qatar of leaking it to the press in a sign of bad faith.

Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.



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