Bahrain accuses Qatar of 'military escalation'

Foreign minister makes reference to Doha allowing Turkish troops on to its territory
Bahrain accuses Qatar of 'military escalation'
Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa.
Mon 26 Jun 2017 06:08 PM

Bahrain's foreign minister on Monday accused Qatar of a "military escalation" in the Gulf diplomatic crisis, an apparent reference to Doha's allowing Turkish troops on its territory.

"The disagreement with Qatar is a political and security dispute and has never been military," Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said on Twitter.

"But the deployment of foreign troops with their armoured vehicles is a military escalation for which Qatar will bear the consequences."

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are among several countries which announced on June 5 they were suspending all ties with Qatar, accusing it of support for extremist groups - a claim Doha denies.

They have also closed their airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate's only land border, a vital route for its food imports.

The countries have presented a 13-point ultimatum to Qatar but Doha has rejected their demands as unrealistic.

Turkey has given some support to Doha, with a bill fast-tracked through the Turkish parliament allowing Ankara to send as many as several thousand troops to a base in Qatar.

Ankara sent a contingent of 23 soldiers and five armoured vehicles to its Gulf ally on Thursday, adding to around 90 Turkish troops already stationed there.

"Certain regional powers are mistaken if they think that their intervention will resolve the problem," Sheikh Khalid said on Twitter.

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