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{UAH} New Turkish military reinforcements arrive in Qatar amid blockade

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The New Arab

New Turkish military reinforcements arrive in Qatar amid blockade

Turkish plane carrying troops and equipment land in Doha [Twitter/Qatar MoD]

Date of publication: 30 June, 2017

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Fresh Turkish reinforcements have arrived to Al Udeid air base in Qatar, joining two batches already deployed and taking place in training exercises since last week amid an ongoing blockade.
Fresh Turkish reinforcements have arrived to Al Udeid air base in Qatar, joining two batches already deployed and taking part in training exercises there since last week.

The new batch of Turkish forces will join ongoing exercises taking place under mutual agreements between Qatar and Turkey, said a statement from the Qatari Ministry of Defence's Communication Directorate circulated online.

The Ministry did not specify the number of Turkish troops in what is the third batch sent to Qatar since the Gulf crisis erupted in early June, or the type of equipment they are bringing.

"The Turkish troop reinforcements joining the Turkish military presence in Qatar come as part of the growing military cooperation... adhering to the relevant defence agreements between the two nations and their growing cooperation in combating violent extremism and fighting as part of the global coalition against terrorism," the statement said.

"The Turkish and Qatar forces in addition to operational cooperation will conduct joint and combined exercises that will aim to enhance joint capabilities between the two militaries". 

The exercises are taking place as a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf enters its fourth week, with no signs of a near resolution.

Qatar's defence minister is due to visit Ankara on Friday and will hold talks with his Ankara counterpart

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and other countries have cut ties with Qatar over accusations the emirate supports terrorism.

Doha denies the accusations and says measures imposed on Qatar by its Gulf neighbours amount to a "blockade".

The Saudi-led camp have since issued Doha with an ultimatum, which includes a demand for ending all military cooperation with Turkey.

Strong allies

Turkey is one of Qatar's strongest allies. Qatar's defence minister is due to visit Ankara on Friday and will hold talks with his Ankara counterpart, sources at Turkey's defence ministry said on Thursday, according to a Reuters report.

Turkey has strongly backed Qatar in the crisis with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations that cut off relations with Doha.

Earlier this month, Ankara fast-tracked an agreement to allow troops to be deployed at Turkey's military base in Qatar. Before the new reinforcements, it sent two separate detachments of Turkish troops to Doha.

Turkey is also sending food and medicines to Qatar to help end its isolation.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has been one of the figures trying to forge a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the economic and political isolation of Qatar as "inhumane and un-Islamic".

Last year, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was the first foreign leader to phone Erdogan after a failed coup in Turkey.

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