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Putin, Saudi King Speak By Phone About Qatar Dispute

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (file photo)

The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman spoke by telephone on June 13 about a diplomatic dispute over Qatar.

A June 13 Kremlin statement said the dispute between Qatar and some Arab countries in the Middle East was not helping efforts to try to find a settlement in the Syria conflict or fight against terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt broke off ties with Qatar over the emirate's alleged support for Islamist extremists and Iran -- accusations Doha denies.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 13 denounced the economic and political isolation of Qatar as "inhumane and against Islamic values."

"It's as if a death penalty decision has been taken for Qatar," Erdogan said, adding that the country has shown "the most decisive stance against the terrorist organization Islamic State alongside Turkey."

Erdogan has good relations with Qatar and both countries have backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as well as rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran also supports Qatar.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AFP, and Reuters