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Turkey to dispatch 3,000 police officers to help secure Qatar 2022 World Cup


Doha and Ankara signed 15 agreements last week.

Turkey is sending some 3,000 members of its riot police units to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told the press in Ankara on Thursday.

Soylu’s statements came two days after the seventh annual Qatar-Turkey Supreme Strategic Committee meeting took place in Doha, co-chaired by Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The discussions were upon suggestion of President (Erdogan]. Many countries from Europe had also applied to Qatar to provide security but Qatar gave this job to Turkey, thanks to efforts of our chair of Directorate of General Security Mehmet Aktaş and other officials,” said Soylu, as quoted by the Daily Sabah.

The meeting witnessed the signing of 15 new agreements between the two countries in various fields including trade, investment, development, culture, youth, sports, security, media among others.

Qatar’s News Agency [QNA] and Turkey’s Anadolu Agency [AA] also signed an agreement to enhance the “bonds of professional cooperation” and develop quality of content.

Commenting on dispatching Turkish police officers to help secure the major sporting event in the Gulf state, Soylu said that the decision came following discussions with Qatari officials that have been held since as far back as 2017.

Soylu also noted the number of officers may be increased, with a general coordinator from Turkish law enforcement, more than 40 security advisers, and search dogs to be dispatched to Qatar.

“I believe we will accomplish this task well. It is very exciting to be chosen to provide security for this event,” he added.

Erdogan in Doha says Turkey seeks to enhance ties with GCC

In recent years, Qatar and Turkey have signed over 60 agreements, which include positioning Turkish forces in Qatar at the Khalid bin Al-Walid Base. The base opened in December 2019.

Economically, trade volume between Doha and Ankara has increased by 6%, reaching $1.6 billion during the past 12 months.

Qatar’s total investments in Turkey have now reached $22 billion, with 533 Turkish companies operating in the Gulf country in numerous projects that are worth at least $18.5 billion. In turn, 179 Qatari companies currently operate in Turkey.

Diplomatically, both Qatar and Turkey have been working over the past few months, in cooperation with the interim Afghan government, to ensure Afghanistan’s airports are operational following the Taliban takeover and foreign troop withdrawal.

Furthermore, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization [MIT] and Ankara’s foreign ministry worked with Qatari intelligence to ensure the safe release and return of seven Turkish ex-detainees.

The Turkish civilians were held by Libyan General Khalifa Haftar’s forces for two years in the North African country.

Meanwhile, the two allies have been calling for a political resolution to the ongoing war in Syria as well as the safe return of Syrian refugees.

In March, Cavusoglu was in Doha with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, where they announced a “trilateral consultation process” to end Syria’s decade-old conflict.

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