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Sunday, October 24, 2021

UAE official: Turkish military presence ‘destabilises’ the region


The claims come following statements by the Turkish president regarding the importance of his country’s military presence in the Gulf.

A senior UAE official has said that the presence of a Turkish military base in Qatar “is an element of instability in the Gulf region”.

On Saturday, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted that having the Turkish army in the region only contributes to polarisation.

“It does not take into account the sovereignty of states and the interests of the Gulf countries and its peoples,” said Gargash.

His tweets were seen as a response to a recent statement by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that the presence of his country’s forces in Qatar ensures regional stability.

“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 in an interview with The Peninsula.

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

On Thursday, Qatari and Turkish defence ministers inaugurated Al Doha QTS91, a training warship, at the Anadolu shipyard in Istanbul.

Al Doha QTS91 is one of the largest training ships in the world, with the capacity to train 72 cadets. Defence officials aim to utilise the ship to enhance the training capabilities of the Qatari Navy.

Source: QNA.

The inauguration was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, and Turkish Minister of National Defence Hulusi Akar.

“Our relations with Qatar are at an excellent and exemplary level in every field, and both countries act as one heart, one fist in close cooperation and coordination on regional issues,” said Akar.

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

Immediately after the Saud-led blockade, Turkey rapidly responded by sending Turkish troops to its military base in Qatar in a clear show of support, Ankara and Doha signed a joint defence treaty which paved the way for the military deployment.

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

Sending Turkish troops played an important role in Qatar’s stability, it was seen by analysts as a main deterrent to the premeditated invasion plans placed by the blockading countries ahead of the QNA hacking that began prior to the blockade in 2017.

There have also been calls by the UAE for the US to withdraw its military base from Qatar and redeoploy its forces in the Emirates. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain all have foreign militaries present in their countries including British, French and American forces.

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