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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Emir leaves Qatar for the first time since the GCC crisis began


Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan in 2016. Credit: QNA

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will head to Turkey this week to meet the country’s president, in his first overseas trip since the Gulf dispute started.

The visit was announced by Turkey, which will also host Kuwait’s Emir at the same time.

Turkey is a key ally of Qatar’s, and the two nations have grown even closer this summer amid the ongoing Gulf crisis.

Turkish dairy products. Credit: Al Meera

Ankara has supported Doha with food imports. It also sped up the deployment of Turkish troops to the country, as per a 2014 military agreement.

President Recep Erdogan has also pushed for a resolution to the Gulf dispute, saying it “is not in anyone’s interests” to continue it.

Travel plans

It’s been more than 100 days since Qatar’s neighbors instituted an air, sea and land blockade against the nation for political reasons.

There has been little progress in resolving the dispute, despite mediation efforts from Kuwait and the US.

Qatari officials including the foreign minister have been traveling all over the world to bolster support for their side.

Images of support for Qatar’s Emir at the Pearl. Credit: Pearl-Qatar/Twitter

But the Emir has so far stayed put amid Saudi Arabia’s support of a new leader in Qatar.

The strategy appeared to be a wise one. In the past 50 years, two of Qatar’s Emirs have been overthrown while traveling overseas, including the Emir’s own grandfather.

Sheikh Tamim is also reportedly expected to travel a bit farther next week, to attend the annual UN General Assembly in New York.


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