Bolton: Qatari Money Will Not Help Turkey in its Crisis

Bolton: Qatari Money Will Not Help Turkey in its Crisis

Wednesday, 22 August, 2018 - 19:00
US national security adviser John Bolton dismisses Qatar’s financial pledge to Turkey as utterly insufficient. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said John Bolton stressed on Tuesday that Qatar’s financial pledge to boost Turkey’s economy during its crisis was “utterly insufficient.”

Qatar’s Emir this month approved a package of economic projects, including a $15 billion pledge of support, for Turkey, giving a boost to a lira that has lost some 37 percent of its value this year.

“I think what they pledged is utterly insufficient to have an impact on Turkey’s economy. It’s certainly not helpful but we’ll actually see what develops from their pledge,” he told Reuters during an interview while visiting Israel.

Turkey could end its crisis with the United States “instantly” by freeing detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, he continued.

The Turkish currency has been in freefall since Washington ordered tariffs in retaliation for the detention of Brunson on charges of complicity in a failed 2016 coup.

Brunson denies wrongdoing, and Ankara has in the past suggested his fate could be linked to that of a US-based Turkish cleric whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses of orchestrating the attempted putsch.

“Look, the Turkish government made a big mistake in not releasing Pastor Brunson,” Bolton added.

“Every day that goes by that mistake continues, this crisis could be over instantly if they did the right thing as a NATO ally, part of the West, and release pastor Brunson without condition.”

Asked if the United States questioned Turkey’s membership in NATO given the stand-off, Bolton said: “That’s not an issue at the moment. We’re focused on Pastor Brunson and the other Americans that the Turkish government’s holding illegitimately and we expect that to get resolved.”

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