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Turkey refuses to close military base in Qatar

October 31, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomes the Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Ankara, Turkey on 14 September 2017 [Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister Mouloud Jawish Oglu has rejected a request by Saudi Arabia and its allies to close the Turkish military base in Qatar, calling it “unrealistic”.

“The Turkish armed forces are deployed in Qatar under the bilateral military and defence cooperation agreement signed between Turkey and Qatar in 2014, long before the Gulf conflict in 2017,” Jawish Oglu told Al-Watan and the Qatar Tribune newspapers.

“Therefore, there is no connection between the deployment of our military forces and the current Gulf conflict … We believe this request is unrealistic,” he said.

“Cooperation in the defence industries is an important aspect of bilateral relations between Qatar and Turkey,” the minister added, saying that it “strengthens the military capabilities of the Qatari armed forces and contributes to the security and stability of the Gulf region.”

The Gulf crisis: continued losses for the region 

“The fields of cooperation between Qatar and Turkey are many and varied,” he said, noting that “the total volume of projects carried out by Turkish contractors in Qatar since 2002 amounted to $17.4 billion”.

“Turkey always looks to the Gulf countries as a family. Differences between family members are resolved through dialogue, but Turkey will continue to support Qatar as long as the blockade continues.”

The Turkish official said his country has strongly supported the sincere Kuwaiti efforts to mediate between the parties, expressing his happiness that Qatar has responded positively to these efforts.

On 5 June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade on it accusing it of supporting terrorism. Charges Doha vehemently denies.