Qatar has signed an agreement with Turkey to establish a naval base, Khaleej Online reported today.
The agreement came during the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) 2018, which ends today, which was attended by international investors from the US, Europe and China for potential ventures.
Turkey has won a tender to establish the base in northern Qatar, general Hamad Bin Abdullah Al-Futtais Al Marri, commander of Qatar's joint special forces said. The naval base will include a training centre that will primarily take on maritime patrols and monitoring. No other details of the base were revealed.
Turkey will also export six armed, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to Qatar's armed forces, and give training services to Qatar's forces by next year. Qatar wishes to purchase the drones for its own surveillance and tactical reconnaissance needs. Turkey will be assisting a long-term strategy to harness defence knowledge with an agreement to establish an academy for Qatar in association with Turkey's Piri Reis University.
Qatar has taken a strategic decision to increase its defence and regional security amid an ongoing air, land and sea blockade led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The blockade was levied over extremism and terrorism allegations, which Qatar categorically denied as baseless.
Turkey stepped in, providing Qatar with food and medicine essentials.
In early 2018, the Turkish National Security Council finalised a plan to deploy 60,000 armed soldiers to Qatar in accordance to a 2022 defence plan. Some one hundred soldiers are currently based in Qatar's Al-Udeid military base since the Saudi-led blockade.
Some 30 Turkish companies are participating in Qatar's DIMDEX exhibition, showcasing modern military technology.