Turkey welcomes Saudi Arabia's decision to reopen its airspace and border with Qatar
Turkey's foreign ministry expressed its support for Saudi Arabia's decision to reopen its land border and airspace to Qatar almost four years after closing them.
"We welcome the decision taken to open land, sea and air borders between Qatar and Saudi Arabia as of tonight," read a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It went on to praise the mediation efforts by international actors, singling out Kuwait for praise, for working to end the dispute between the Persian Gulf neighbours and expressed hope that the blockade will come to a complete end.
"Our country, which is a strategic partner of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and attaches great importance to the security and stability of the Gulf region, will contribute to support all efforts in this direction.
Riyadh's decision to reopen its borders with its tiny neighbour followed a meeting of the GCC where lifting the blockade was discussed. The United States also contributed to Kuwaiti mediation efforts in the hopes of fixing relations between its Gulf allies in the hope of uniting the Gulf against Iran.
In May 2017, a quartet of Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates initiated the blockade of Qatar for its unwillingness to renounce support for political Islamist parties tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and cool its relations with Iran. Another demand Doha refused to meet was expelling Turkish soldiers from a military base located in the kingdom.
After the blockade was launched, Turkey moved quickly to reinforce its garrison in Qatar and today 5,000 Turkish soldiers are stationed there.