Turkey has turned down a demand by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the anti-Qatar coalition that its base in the tiny Gulf state is shut down.
Under a Turkey-Qatar agreement, the former has agreed to set up a base, which it hastened after Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed an economic blockade on Qatar citing its support to terrorist organizations.
Just yesterday, five armored vehicles and 23 military personnel arrived in Doha on June 22 as part of Turkey’s military deployment.
“Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda,” Defense Minister Fikri Işık said in a televised interview, adding that Turkey’s presence in Qatar should be seen as a benefit for the whole Gulf, various media reported.
The base is a guarantor of the security of Qatar and the Gulf, and demands for its closure showed interference in our ties with Doha, he added.
Işık said he is yet to see the list of 13 demands, including the closing down the Turkish military installation, made by four Arab states that are currently boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism.
“If there is such a demand, it will mean interference in bilateral ties,” he said, adding that Ankara had hoped that tensions with Qatar could be resolved without a crisis.