Turkish FM hold phone talks with regional counterparts over tension in Bahrain

15:22, March 18, 2011      

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held talks with his counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) by phone on Thursday to discuss the tension in Bahrain.

During the conversations, Turkey had expressed its concerns that Gulf security forces deployed in Bahrain could accelerate Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence in the Middle East region, said sources from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Davutoglu also spoke with foreign ministers of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by phone on late Wednesday to discuss the matter.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal is due in Turkey on Thursday night for an official visit. He is scheduled to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, with regional and international issues on their agenda.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, which groups Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, sent troops on Monday to Bahrain to maintain order and security. Most of the troops are from Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain's Defense Forces on Wednesday imposed a curfew in several areas of the capital and moved against protesters with the backing of helicopters.

A day earlier, the Bahraini king declared a state of emergency in the tiny Gulf nation for three months to deal with the unrest and protests that swept the country recently.

About 50 Turks demonstrated outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Ankara on Thursday against Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Bahrain.

Source: Xinhua

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