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Turkish delegation arrives in Qatar for military cooperation

June 14, 2017 at 3:06 am

People in Qatar hang posters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to react blockade applied to Qatar, in Doha on 12 June, 2017 [Mohamed Farag/Anadolu Agency]

A three-person Turkish military delegation arrived in Qatar yesterday to explore and prepare for the establishment of a military base to deploy Turkish military troops in Qatar, the Turkish General Staff announced in an official statement yesterday. The visit came in accordance with an earlier agreement between the two countries.

“Our three-person delegation was sent to Qatar on June 12. It continues to work on the preparation of a base for deploying the Turkish troops, carrying out the necessary work and establishing coordination,” the statement said.

According to Turkish Ambassador to Qatar, Ahmet Demirok, some 3,000 soldiers of the ground forces, servicemen of the country’s air forces and navy, as well as instructors and special forces, will be deployed on the base in Qatar.

Last Wednesday, the Turkish parliament approved a draft law that authorises the deployment of Turkish armed forces in Qatar according a previous protocol between the two countries. The national assembly also passed a bill on cooperation between Turkey and Qatar to train gendarmerie and security forces between the two countries.

On Thursday, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ratified on the parliament’s bill authorising the implementation of the agreement of deploying Turkish military personnel in Qatar.

Read: Erdogan ratifies legislation to deploy Turkish troops in Qatar

The agreement came amid an ongoing diplomatic row between Qatar and other Arab states.

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and embargoed all sea, air and land traffic to the country, accusing Doha of “supporting terrorists and destabilising the Middle East.” Several states in the region have followed the historical move.

However, Turkey has announced that it would continue to develop relations with Qatar and will make efforts to resolve the crisis through dialogue.