Rouhani vows stronger ties with embattled Qatar


He said the demands include major areas that "provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to a resolution". Bob Corker of Tennessee said Monday in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. They speak frequently on foreign policy issues.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan rejected calls from Arab nations for Turkey to close its military base in Qatar, vowing to continue to work with its Gulf-state ally in a speech today in Istanbul.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt handed a 13-point ultimatum to Qatar. "You'd expect there to be a very big red line drawn by the US on that, especially given that Qatar is home to its most important military base in the Middle East", he said. Bahrain, one of the other countries involved in the spat, is host to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates' state minister for foreign affairs, warned Qatar faced a "divorce" if it did not meet the demands.

In a Wall Street Journal interview on Sunday, Secretary Tillerson, who has called for mediated peace as the side address their grievances, addressed these demands saying "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".

Four gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, severed ties with Qatar on June 5 over accusations that the country was destabilizing the Middle East and funding extremism.

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Bahrain's foreign minister lashed out at Qatar and - without directly naming it - Turkey, whose president has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. That Qatar hosts a large USA military base and has the backing of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey likely makes any sort of attempt to oust the Emir by force virtually impossible.

"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 Saudi-led boycott, which enlisted other GCC states and Egypt to isolate Qatar, was imposed several weeks after the high-profile visit to Riyadh by the U.S. president, Donald Trump, during which he re-prioritised the kingdom over its main regional rival, Iran - the regional clout of which had risen after the Obama administration brokered a nuclear deal with Tehran.

"Even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops [from Qatar] is disrespectful against Turkey", he said.

Mr Tillerson is also calling for a "lowering of rhetoric" to "help ease the tension" and said the USA is supporting Kuwait's efforts to mediate.

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