Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday claimed that he has never known Qatar to give support to terror organizations, AFP reported.
His comments came after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other states broke off relations on Monday over what they say is the emirate's financing of extremist groups as well as its ties to Iran.
On Friday, the Saudis and their allies placed several Qataris and Doha-based organizations on a terror blacklist, releasing a joint statement listing as many as 18 individuals, including members of Qatar's royal family and a former minister as involved in "terrorist" activities.
While maintaining good relations with the Gulf states, Turkey has vowed to continue to back its close ties with Qatar, which Erdogan again defended on Friday.
"They declare foundations established to provide different services as terror organizations. Something like this should not happen. I know those foundations. Until today I have not witnessed Qatar give support to terror," Erdogan said in Istanbul, according to AFP.
In addition to cutting ties, Saudi Arabia has also sealed off Qatar's only land border, a crucial lifeline for food imports.
The Turkish leader called for the "blockade" against Doha to be "completely lifted", urging Saudi Arabia to show leadership and encourage good relations in the region.
"I have a request to the Saudi administration: you are the biggest in the Gulf, the strongest... not with hostilities, you should be the leader of fraternity there, you should bring everyone together," Erdogan said. READ MORE