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Monday, January 17, 2022

Turkey’s President Erdogan to visit Qatar next week


Turkey’s president will also pay a visit to the UAE in February next year.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will head to Qatar on 6 December to discuss bilateral and regional issues in a two-day official visit to the Gulf state.

Erdogan said he is also planning an official visit to the United Arab Emirates in February, emphasising that steps made with Abu Dhabi will be taken to mend strained relations between Egypt and Israel, Daily Sabah reported.

The Turkish president hosted Emirati Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ) last month as part of efforts by both countries to mend relations and promote economic cooperation.

The visit by MBZ was his first official trip to Turkey since 2012 and the highest-level visit by an Emirati official to the country since ties weakened as Istanbul and Abu Dhabi fought for influence in the region with support from opposing sides.

Qatar-Turkey relations

Qatar and Turkey have been allies since 1972, with relations growing increasingly stronger in the past years, especially since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an illegal blockade on Qatar in 2017.

In 2015, Turkey established a military base with around 3,000 troops in Qatar led by the Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command. The base was previously described by the the former blockading quartet as a “source of instability.”

In June, reports said Turkey was preparing to train Qatari fighter pilots and allow the temporary deployment of up to 36 Qatari military aircraft and 250 personnel, according to a document obtained by monitoring and news site Nordic Monitor.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan forwarded a technical agreement, signed by Turkey and Qatar, to parliament for approval, the report said.

Qatar and Turkey hold at least 62 agreements that cover numerous sectors, including economy, military, safety, investment, energy, culture, intellectual property, education, and youth. During the past 12 months, the trade volume between Doha and Ankara has increased by 6%, reaching $1.6 billion.

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.

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