In what probably comes as some relief for Qatar, the Turkish president has not only refused to comply with the request by Saudi Arabia to pull troops out of Qatar but also criticized the move. Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has categorically stated that the 'request' is 'disrespectful' to his nation and people.
A move to increase the pressure on Qatar
Saudi Arabia has asked for Turkey's withdrawal of support to Qatar even as it further moves to bring more pressure to bear on the latter. Several Gulf countries have announced official severance of ties with Qatar based on concerns that it has links with terrorist entities. Saudi Arabia is one of the more vocal supporters of a strategy to isolate Qatar until the country's leaders take a strong stance against terrorism. Saudi has already pulled troops from here and also sent Qataris back to their home country, making a clear statement that it is quite serious about the cutting of ties. Meanwhile, it has also asked Turkey to do the same.
At the same time, 13 demands have been presented to Qatar by the opposing Gulf countries ad only if these are met will ties be reinstated.
'Against international law', says Turkish president
This move is being described as something that is completely 'against international law' by the Turkish president. He has further said that he is quite satisfied with Qatar's stance towards the demands placed by the other Gulf countries and sees no reason to cut ties with the former. The president has shown his disenchantment with Saudi Arabia by responding to their call for withdrawing Turkish troops negatively. He has made it clear that Turkey does not need the 'permission' of Saudi Arabia or its allied Gulf countries to decide its military strategies and political allies.
The rift in the Gulf region widens significantly with this apparent support of the Turkish leader to the tiny oil- rich Qatar. With just 10 days of time being allocated for the 13-point demand list to be met, it seems like there is bound to be a big showdown in this are soon. Meanwhile, Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State has said that it will be 'very difficult' for Qatar to actually fulfill the demands made of it. He has appealed to the Arab countries to sort out differences via dialogue and reasonable demands.