Erdogan visits Qatar, calling for an urgent end to the Gulf crisis



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Erdogan visits Qatar, calling for an urgent end to the Gulf crisis



TURKEY President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called in Doha for an urgent end to the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabian-led rival countries in hopes of easing tensions in the region.

For an hour-long visit to Qatar, Erdogan, however, ruled out closing down a Turkish military base in Qatar's territory.



Strengthening connections

The closure of that base is one of the conditions that Qatar must fulfill if it wants official Riyadh and his allies to stop holding him in isolation.

Relations between Doha and Ankara have strengthened since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017.

These four countries accuse the official Doha of supporting Islamist movements and forging links with Shi'ite Iran, which is the main rival of the region in Sunni Islam.

Serving Doha denies the allegations.

“Those seeking closure of this base are those who have not yet realized that Turkey has been friends with Qatar in the difficult days,” Erdogan said, emphasizing “We have never left our friends who were threatened or in danger.”

“I want the crisis that has been going on in the Gulf for two and a half years to be resolved as soon as possible,” Erdogan said, speaking at a base in the Doha suburbs where some 5,000 soldiers are stationed.

Interests in collaboration

Qatar and Turkey support the Muslim Brotherhood organization and have strengthened economic and political relations. Ankara and Riyadh's relations, on the other hand, have worsened since Saudi agents brutally murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country's consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Professor at King's College in London, Andreas Krieg, explained his interests in cooperation between Turkey and Qatar. “Turkey wants to establish a base in the Gulf, and Qatar needs foreign military assistance,” after the Gulf countries imposed an embargo on it.

For Erdogan's visit, the two countries have signed economic and trade agreements and are anticipating stronger co-operation during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Qatar is the only Arab League member state to express reservations with Somalia, according to a statement condemning Turkish aggression against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

Turkey is the first country to help the emirate of Qatar when its embargo was announced by neighboring countries.

Doha announced a $ 15 billion loan last year to Turkey to help it cope with the financial crisis.

Erdogan visits Qatar, calling for an urgent end to the Gulf crisis

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