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Erdogan hopes to woo Saudi Arabia with Gulf damage-control tour

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his visit to the Gulf was mainly about the GCC-Qatar crisis, but analysts indicate Ankara is also trying to curry favor with Saudi Arabia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures during a news conference to present the outcome of the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay - RTX3ANDI
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan briefly visited Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar on July 23-24 on a tour billed by the Turkish media as a mediation effort aimed at resolving the Qatar crisis. The tour, which came on the heels of ongoing efforts at mediation by Kuwait and the United States, revealed Ankara’s limited capacity to make a difference in this crisis.

Turkey’s initial desire to act as mediator was dashed when Ankara provided strong backing for Qatar, including sending military forces to that country. Despite insisting that it is neutral, this move ensured that it was not in a position, at least in the eyes of the Saudi-led coalition, to act as mediator.

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