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Erdogan rejects Arab demands; Turkish troops stay in Qatar

26 June 2017

The United States says some demands on Qatar (KUH'-tur) by its Mideast neighbors "will be very hard to meet".

"There can not be such an attack on countries' sovereignty rights in worldwide law".

Qatar says it is reviewing the ultimatum, which includes demands to shut Al-Jazeera and cut ties with Islamist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood.

The president said the 13-point demand list by Arab states, already rejected by Qatar, contradicted worldwide law.

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.

Among other things, the fellow Gulf states have demanded the closure of Al Jazeera TV, which is funded by the Qatari government.

"NHRC noted that Qatar's acceptance of these demands and conditions would subject the country to worldwide accountability and violate its obligations on human rights conventions". They have signaled that if Qatar refuses to comply by the deadline, they will continue to restrict its access to land, sea and air routes indefinitely amid mounting economic pressure on the Persian Gulf nation. A number of other Muslim countries followed suit in the following days.

"It is a breach of Qatar's sovereignty rights".

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On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and transportation links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that Doha denied.

The most powerful Middle Eastern country to stand with Qatar in the dispute has been Turkey, which has rushed through legislation to send more troops to its base in Doha as a sign of support.

"If Saudi Arabia wants us to have base there, a step towards this also can be taken", he told reporters.

Erdogan said he made a similar offer to Saudi Arabia to set up a base there in the past but did not hear back from the king.

Qatar is home to the Al-Udeid forward base for U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations not only in Syria but also Iraq and Afghanistan.

Turkey's parliament voted to deploy more troops to the base and approved the training of Qatari forces by Turkish gendarmeries following the cutting of ties with Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen. Last year, Hurriyet reported 150 Turkish troops were stationed in Qatar. "While some of the elements will be very hard for Qatar to meet, there are significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution", the statement read.

"A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension", Tillerson said, adding that the United States will remain in close contact with all the countries involved.