Er­do­gan to visit Kuwait, Gulf

Egypt ends visas on ar­rival for Qataris

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

IS­TAN­BUL: Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan will this month visit Qatar and Saudi Ara­bia, which are locked in a deep diplo­matic cri­sis, his of­fice an­nounced yes­ter­day. Er­do­gan will also visit Kuwait, the main me­di­a­tor in the Qatar cri­sis, dur­ing his July 23-24 tour. Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yildirim said Ankara would con­tinue to play a “con­struc­tive and ac­tive” role to help solve what he de­scribed as a “point­less” cri­sis. Yildirim added Er­do­gan’s visit would be part of this ef­fort.

Er­do­gan is ex­pected to visit Saudi Ara­bia then Kuwait on July 23 fol­lowed by Qatar on July 24, ac­cord­ing to pri­vate news agency Do­gan. Turkey is a key ally of Qatar, which has been diplo­mat­i­cally and eco­nom­i­cally iso­lated by its Gulf neigh­bors over al­le­ga­tions it sup­ports ter­ror­ism. Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt and Bahrain last month cut diplo­matic ties with Qatar and is­sued 13 wide-rang­ing de­mands to lift the block­ade, in­clud­ing the clo­sure of a Turk­ish mil­i­tary base in the emi­rate. The cri­sis has put Turkey in a del­i­cate po­si­tion as Qatar is its main ally in the Gulf but Ankara does not want to an­tag­o­nize key re­gional power Saudi Ara­bia.

Mean­while, Egypt will end visa-free en­try for Qatari na­tion­als with some ex­cep­tions, the Egyp­tian For­eign Min­istry said on Mon­day, the lat­est mea­sure taken against Doha. “It does not make sense to keep mak­ing ex­cep­tions for Qatar and giv­ing it priv­i­leges in light of its cur­rent po­si­tions,” said For­eign Min­istry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid. Qatari na­tion­als will now have to ap­ply for a visa in or­der to en­ter Egypt. Qatari na­tion­als with Egyp­tian moth­ers, those mar­ried to Egyp­tians, and Qataris study­ing in Egypt will be ex­empt from hav­ing to ap­ply for a visa, he added.

Sources at Cairo In­ter­na­tional Air­port told Reuters the de­ci­sion would be im­ple­mented from to­mor­row, which the Qatari For­eign Min­istry later con­firmed on Twit­ter. For­eign work­ers make up around 1.6 mil­lion of Qatar’s 2.5 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion, and hun­dreds of thou­sands of them are Egyp­tians, mak­ing them one of the big­gest for­eign con­tin­gents in the Gulf coun­try. So far no ac­tion has been taken against them. — Agen­cies

ANKARA: This photo taken on July 15, 2017 shows Turkey’s Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan wav­ing to an F-16 fighter jet while trav­el­ling from Ankara to Is­tan­bul. — AFP

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