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Turkish troops arrive in Qatar for joint military drills

22 Juin 2017

"The blockading nations are using terrorism as a publicity stunt".

"Qatar will realize that this is a new state of affairs and isolation can last years", Gargash told reporters in Paris.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and a number of gulf nations on June 5 abruptly cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar, home to a major US military base in the region, citing a range of complaints from its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran to its funding of the Arab-language news agency Al-Jazeera.

Tough remarks by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Monday made clear that the countries seeking to isolate Qatar have no intention of backing down soon.

In some cases, the actions taken by these states separated mothers from their children, it said. Qatar has said it has no plans to expel Gulf nationals residing there.

"They have built a sophisticated podium for jihadism and Islamic extremism", he said.

Qatar's Defence Ministry said the F-15 deal would create 60,000 jobs in the U.S. and lead to closer strategic collaboration in the fights against violent extremism.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain had given their citizens a June 19 deadline to leave Qatar, a deadline which came into force on Monday.

While relations improved after 2014 through diplomatic efforts, the hostilities among the other Gulf states against Qatar never completely receded.

Qatari companies with operations in the Dubai International Financial Centre are now looking to pull them back to Qatar, he said, without giving details. A base in Qatar houses the headquarters of USA air power in the Middle East. "But what we have seen until now, there is no solid ground for these demands, that's why they didn't submit their demands yet".

The Gulf political crisis has also affected countries outside the region.

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"This arbitrary deadline has caused widespread uncertainty and dread amongst thousands of people who fear they will be separated from their loved ones", Amnesty's James Lynch said in a statement.

Qatar is ready to engage in direct talks with the countries that have severed ties with it, but only after the end of the blockade, he said. They were later joined by Libya, Yemen, the Maldives, Mauritius and Mauritania, with Jordan and Djibouti announcing they would lower the level of diplomatic contacts with Qatar.

The US Congress previously approved a sale of as many as 72 F-15s to Qatar in a deal valued at $15 billion, long before the Gulf countries spat with its neighbours Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

At the same time, government spokesman Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani deplored the effect the boycott was having on GCC nations. Shi'ite Muslim Iran repeated accusations that Saudi Arabia funds Sunni Islamist militants, including Islamic State.

The British law firm, Carter-Ruck, added that it will be raising concerns regarding Sky's Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary, Sky News Arabia, as Ofcom considers a proposed multibillion dollar merger between Sky and 21st Century Fox.

Turkish troops have taken part in planned joint military exercises in Qatar amid a widening rift between the Arab country and its neighbors in the Persian Gulf region.

On Sunday, an unspecified number of soldiers arrived at Tariq Bin Ziyad military base, where around 100 had already been deployed for joint military exercises.

Al Jazeera posted a video on its website of armoured personnel carriers moving through streets.

Following the declaration of Gulf and Arab states to boycott Qatar, which broke out two weeks ago, and the decision to take measures against the emirate, the Palestinians chose to be neutral to avoid more losses of aligning to one side against the other.

Turkey's parliament on June 7 fast-tracked legislation to allow troops to be deployed to a military base in Qatar that now houses about 90 Turkish soldiers. It has also increased food supplies to Qatar after the emirate's land border was closed.