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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Turkey striving to defeat ‘unjust’ Qatar blockade, Erdogan says

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The Turkish president expresses his gratitude towards the “brotherly” Gulf state and his country’s position in the Palestinian case, in an interview with The Peninsula.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country has been diligently working to defeat the illegal 2017 blockade, in comments made during a visit to Qatar on Wednesday, the second such trip in just a few months.

“As Turkey and the Turkish nation, we can never forget Qatar’s solidarity with our country following the July 15 coup attempt. We have also put in every effort to defeat the unjust blockade and sanctions against our Qatari brothers and sisters and are still doing so,” the Turkish leader said in an interview with The Peninsula.

“Our joint projects with Qatar in the field of military, security, and defence industry constitute the backbone of our bilateral relations. The Turkey-Qatar Combined Joint Force Command is the symbol of brotherhood, friendship, solidarity, and sincerity between our countries,” Erdogan said.

Read also: Turkey’s President Erdogan lands in Qatar in second official visit this year

Both countries have been allies since 1972, but relations have grown closer since the Gulf crisis was triggered in 2017 after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an illegal blockade on Qatar.

Immediately after the blockade, Turkey rapidly responded by sending Turkish troops to its military base in Qatar in a clear show of support.

“Those who carry out negative propaganda about our base are definitely not well-intentioned. Turkey’s military presence serves for the stability and peace not only of the brotherly nation Qatar, but also of the whole Gulf,” said Erdogan.

According to a recent Al Jazeera documentary, a UAE network was established in Cairo to attack Doha and its ally. It also revealed how the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia had “premeditated” an invasion of Qatar.

“No one except for those making plans of chaos should be disturbed by Turkey and the Turkish military presence in the Gulf,” Erdogan said in response.

Read also: ‘Blockade was premeditated’: Al Jazeera documentary discloses leaked documents

The Turkish leader also confirmed greater cooperation between Doha and Ankara during the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“I believe that Turkey and Qatar offer the best example of cooperation on a win-win basis. We will deepen our cooperation with joint projects especially before the World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022,” he said.

Erdogan stressed his commitment to ensuring the success of the major sports event by extending infrastructural and security support.

“With the permission of Allah, we will work together with the Qatari Government particularly on security and infrastructure. We will extend all kinds of support for the success of this important sports organisation,” said Erdogan.

Read also: Qatar dismisses normalisation claims, says its position remains the same

Meanwhile, Erdogan also slammed a dubbed “Peace Plan” which stipulates complete annexation of Palestinian territories by Israel, describing it as one that “ignores the acquired rights of Palestinians, rejects a two-state solution on the basis of the borders of 1967, and legitimises the policies of occupation and annexation.”

Furthermore, the US President Donald Trump’s Deal of the Century “has no chance of success”, he said.

Qatar-Turkey exports

Doha-Ankara trade relations have also been exhibiting clear economic growth. In the immediate aftermath of the blockade in 2017, Turkey’s exports to Qatar tripled in value within days.

Turkey’s exports to Qatar in 2019 also increased by around 10 percent, compared to the previous year, with 500 Turkish companies currently operating in Qatar. 

Read also: Turkey-Qatar trade sees dramatic ten year increase

The total value of the projects undertaken only by Turkey’s contracting companies stands at $18.5 bn.

Turkey has also become a “safe haven” for investments from Qatari business people, inviting ventures worth $3bn between 2000 and 2019.


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