Turkish troops in Qatar 'not against any country'

Turkish troops in Qatar 'not against any country'

Turkey’s military deployment in Qatar aims to promote regional security and should not be seen as a move against any country, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman on Sunday, Anadolu reported.

In a statement, spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu referred to an agreement signed in 2014 between Turkey and Qatar as proof that Turkish efforts to set up a military base in Qatar had nothing to do with the ongoing crisis among the small Gulf state and other Arab countries.

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.

Doha denies the accusations, describing the attempts to isolate it as “unjustified”.

"The purpose of the deployment of the Turkish Armed Forces in Qatar is to contribute to the security of the region as well as to provide Qatar with support in military training. Our activities are not against any particular country," Muftuoglu said.

He emphasized that Turkey had close ties with all Gulf countries and underlined the existence of a strategic dialogue mechanism between Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Muftuoglu said the establishment of the Turkish military base in Qatar was in line with the common vision of Turkey and the GCC for promoting regional peace, security and stability.

“Just like the presence of other foreign military bases or units in other countries of the region, our military presence in Qatar is principally based on a decision taken by the two countries relying on their sovereign rights,” he said.

Qatar said early Saturday it has received a list of demands by the Saudi-led Arab countries to end their blockade on the Gulf country.

According to foreign media, the 13-point list of demands includes the closure of Al Jazeera television, downgrading ties with Iran and extraditing "terrorists". The Arab countries have given Doha a 10-day deadline to meet the demands.

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