Erdogan arrives in Jeddah on first leg of Gulf tour to resolve Qatar crisis

Last Updated: Sun, Jul 23, 2017 22:46 hrs

[Saudi Arabia], July 23 (ANI): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah on the first leg of his Gulf tour that will also include Kuwait and Qatar, aimed at defusing the stand-off between Qatar and its Arab neighbours.

Erdogan was greeted by a number of Saudi officials upon his arrival at Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport.

During his two-day visit to the Gulf region, Erdogan will first meet Saudi leadership and then go to Kuwait and Qatar.

Speaking at the Istanbul Airport before his departure, Tayyip Erdogan said no one has any interest in prolonging this crisis anymore.

He expressed the hope that his visit will be beneficial for the region.

The Turkish leader separately met with Saudi King Salman and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Erdogan is being accompanied by a high-profile delegation that includes Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan, the Anadolu News Agency reported.

The Middle East has been plunged into one of its worst diplomatic crises in decades after nine countries cut ties with Qatar, one of the richest states in the Middle East, calling into question the future of a powerful 36-year-old Gulf states union since June 5.

Arab countries had insisted that Doha should fulfill 13 precise demands including reducing diplomatic ties with Iran and supporting counter-terrorism or specify the deadline for them to comply. (ANI)