ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has spoken by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on lowering tension, presidential sources said, after Arab powers cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants.
“The importance of regional peace and stability was underlined in the talks, as well as the importance of focusing on the path of diplomacy and dialogue to lower the current tension,” the sources said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.
Turkey has good relations with Qatar as well as several of its Gulf Arab neighbors and Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Monday that Ankara wanted to help resolve the dispute.
After the talks between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said late on Monday they called for dialogue and compromise.
Erdogan also spoke with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait. The sources said Erdogan would continue his contacts on the issue.
(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Macfie)