Turkey's defence minister said on Friday his country had no plans to review its military base in Qatar and that any demand for its closure would represent interference in Ankara's relations with the Gulf state.
Defence Minister Fikri Işık told broadcaster NTV that he had not seen a demand for the base to be shut. "The base in Qatar is both a Turkish base and one that will preserve the security of Qatar and the region," Işık said in an interview.
Arab states send Qatar 13 demands to end crisis
Four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism have sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television and reducing ties to their regional adversary Iran, an official of one of the four countries said.The list, compiled by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain as the price for ending the worst Gulf Arab crisis in years, also demands the closing of a Turkish military base in Qatar, the official told Reuters.Qatar must also announce it is severing ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organisations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly al Qaeda's branch in Syria, he said, and surrender all designated terrorists on its territory,The countries give Doha 10 days to comply, failing which the list becomes 'void', the official said without elaborating. The demands were handed to Qatar by Kuwait, which is mediating in the dispute, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.The four Arab countries accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional instability and cosying up to revolutionary theocracy Iran. Qatar has denied the accusations.U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance on Qatar, accusing it of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism, but he has also offered help to the parties in the dispute to resolve their differences.Turkey has backed Qatar during the three-week-old crisis. It sent its first ship carrying food aid to Qatar and dispatched a small contingent of soldiers and armoured vehicles there on Thursday, while President Tayyip Erdoğan spoke with Saudi Arabia's leaders on calming tension in the region.
Four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism have sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television and reducing ties to their regional adversary Iran, an official of one of the four countries said.
2nd group of Turkish troops arrives in embattled Qatar
A second group of Turkish troops arrived in Qatar on Thursday, joining a first group that arrived earlier this week to begin training exercises with their Qatari counterparts, Qatar’s official QNA news agency reported.In a statement carried by QNA, Qatar’s Defense Ministry announced the arrival of the second group of Turkish troops to the Al-Udeid Airbase -- located southeast of Qatari capital Doha -- on Thursday morning.The first group of Turkish troops arrived in Qatar on Sunday, after which they conducted a first round of military exercises -- including a parade of combat tanks -- at Qatar’s Tariq bin Ziyad military camp.The joint exercises came only days after Turkey’s parliament ratified two military cooperation agreements allowing the deployment of troops to Qatar to train the country’s gendarmerie forces.The agreements are intended to improve the defense capabilities of Qatar’s armed forces, support the country’s efforts to combat terrorism, and contribute to regional and global security.The latest Turkish troop deployments come against the backdrop of a weeks-long embargo imposed on Qatar by a handful of other Arab states.On June 5, five Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen -- abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.Mauritania followed suit shortly afterward, while Jordan downgraded its diplomatic representation in Doha.Saudi Arabia has also closed its land border with Qatar, geographically isolating the tiny Gulf state.Doha, for its part, strenuously denies accusations that it supports terrorism, describing the attempts to isolate it as “unjustified”.Turkey, meanwhile, a longtime ally of Qatar, has since rushed to the aid of Doha, dispatching vast amounts of humanitarian aid -- in addition to troops -- to the beleaguered country.