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Publish Date : Saturday 15 July 2017 - 08:56
Turkey Vows to Maintain Military Base in Qatar, Slams Saudi-Led Objections
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavusoglu, right, with his Qatari counterpart Abdulrahman Al Thani in Ankara, Friday July 14, 2017
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavusoglu, right, with his Qatari counterpart Abdulrahman Al Thani in Ankara, Friday July 14, 2017
Islam Times - Turkey has vowed to maintain its military base in Qatar while slamming demands by Saudi-led regimes to close it.
Speaking on Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said demands by some Persian Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia that base be closed are “unacceptable.”

“A solution could come in the medium term,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told an Ankara news conference, speaking alongside his visiting Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

Since 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, which they accuse of supporting extremist groups like Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, the Muslim Brotherhood and having close ties with neighboring Iran. Qatar has defended itself against the accusation saying the groups are not extremist, while insisting on having good ties with Iran.

The Saudi-led block later issued demands that Qatar must meet before ties are restored including curtailing its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, shutting down the al-Jazeera TV channel, closing a Turkish military base in Doha and downgrading its ties with Iran. Qatar rejected the demands arguing they are illogical and infringe on its sovereignty.

On demands for closure of the Turkish military base in Qatar, Cavusoglu cited the US military base there, saying: “There is no such dispute with the Americans, nor do they object to it. This [Turkish base] is a deal between two sovereign countries. The demands violate sovereignty.”

Cavusoglu emphasized that Turkey supports Kuwaiti mediation efforts to resolve the crisis.

Cavusoglu highlighted Qatar’s support through the first anniversary of the defeated 2016 coup attempt in Turkey: “There was a traitorous coup attempt last year on July 15.

“That night, even before the outcome of the attempt was clear, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called our president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to show Qatar’s and his own support.

Cavusoglu said President Erdogan was planning to visit the Persian Gulf States and said details would become clearer next week.

Foreign Minister Al Thani, for his part, said the Turkish military base in Qatar is based on deals between two countries and that no other country has the right to argue or appeal it.

"The first reason for my visit is the anniversary of the treacherous coup attempt last year,” followed by thanking Turkey for supporting Qatar, said Al Thani. Al Thani said the blockade on Qatar has no legitimate basis.

“We want the countries implementing this blockade to communicate their complaints on a solid basis. Qatar is also battling terrorism like these countries supporting counter-terrorism,” he said.

“Although it’s now been 40 days since the blockade, no evidence has been presented to prove the allegations,” Al Thani said, adding: “Qatar supports constructive dialogue to resolve the crisis.”
Story Code: 653488