Iran's Rouhani says siege of Qatar 'unacceptable'


Turkey yesterday denounced the demands put by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies blockading Qatar as "disrespectful" and an attack on a sovereign state's rights.

In a statement issued in Washington, Tillerson said some of the demands presented by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be very hard for Qatar to meet, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, calling on the sides to focus on areas which provide a basis for dialogue.

Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives have also said they are indefinitely severing ties with Qatar.

"A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation", Tillerson said.

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A Turkish foreign ministry statement Sunday reiterated that the deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar contributed to regional security and was not aimed at a specific country.

In their apparent bid to secure United States support and that of Israel, Riyadh, Manama, Cairo and Abu Dhabi suspended all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, expelled its diplomats and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries.

According to media reports, demands include the closure of Al Jazeera, the downgrading of Qatar's ties with Iran, shutting down Turkish military base in the country, and the extradition of "terrorists" from the country. A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Doha and stopped all communication with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. "The United States will continue to stay in close contact with all parties and will continue to support the mediation efforts of the Emir of Kuwait", the statement added.

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"Tehran stands alongside the people and government of Qatar and we believe that. pressure, threats and sanctions are not a good solution to solve problems" between countries of the region, Rouhani added.

The United States said the demands on Qatar by its Mideast neighbors "will be very hard to meet".

On June 22, the four Arab nations presented an ultimatum containing a list of demands and gave Doha ten days to fulfil them.

Al-Thani reportedly hailed Iran as an "Islamic power" and criticized US President Donald Trump's policy towards Tehran on a news website.

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