The foreign minister of Bahrain, one of the Arab countries to cut ties with Qatar amid a bitter row between the Gulf neighbours, will on Saturday visit Turkey which has close ties with Doha, the Turkish foreign ministry said. The announcement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ratified on Friday a bill approved by Turkish lawmakers to deploy troops to a Turkish base in Qatar in a move seen as Ankara’s support to Doha.
Earlier this week Erdogan criticised the sanctions against Qatar, saying he intended to “develop” ties, but he was careful not to criticise Riyadh. Turkey has close ties with Doha including in the energy sector, but it also maintains good relations with the other Gulf states.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa will meet with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu , as well as Erdogan to discuss the “latest developments in the region”, the ministry said in a statement.
A senior Turkish official said the Bahraini minister will spend four days in Istanbul. Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and other states this week in cutting ties with Qatar over what they say is the emirate’s financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional arch-rival.
The Arab countries closed air, sea and land links with Qatar, barred the emirate’s planes from their airspace and ordered Qatari citizens out within 14 days. The crisis escalated further on Friday after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain released a list of 59 Qatari and Doha-based people and entities linked to “terrorism”.