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Gulf-Qatar crisis cannot be resolved in a day, says Qatar FM

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives Qatar Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on July 14, 2017. (Kayhan Özer – Anadolu Agency)

Qatar’s foreign minister said Friday it would be unfair to describe US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s shuttle diplomacy to find a solution for a major Gulf crisis as a failure, insisting that the crisis “cannot be solved in a day.”

During a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also told reporters in Ankara that Qatar would continue to work with the United States and Kuwait to end the standoff with its four Arab neighbors.

Al Thani also met President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At the outset of the meeting, the Foreign Minister conveyed the greetings of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Turkish President as well as his wishes of more progress and prosperity to the Turkish people.

Tillerson concluded his mediation efforts on Thursday, making no promise of an imminent breakthrough but voicing optimism that Qatar and its neighbors might soon be willing to talk face to face.

“There is no criterion or evidence that indicates that (Tillerson’s visit) was a failure,” Al Thani said. “We cannot expect such a tense crisis to be solved in a day.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose nation has supported Qatar in the dispute, said he believed a solution would be possible “in the mid-term.”

The Qatari minister again denied accusations that his nation provided support to terror groups, accusing the four of failing to provide “single evidence” against his gas-rich nation.

Cavusoglu said that a recent pact that Qatar agreed with United States to strengthen its counterterrorism efforts was evidence of Doha’s “sincerety” in countering extremist groups.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are insisting that Qatar agree to a 13-point list of demands that includes shutting down Qatar’s flagship Al-Jazeera network and other news outlets, cutting ties with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, limiting Qatar’s ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the Gulf country.

The White House said that President Donald Trump spoke on Friday from Air Force One with Saudi King and that the two discussed the recent diplomatic efforts to resolve the Arab quartet’s dispute with Qatar.

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