Qatar holds joint drill with Turkey as regional boycott continues

News ID: 4053052 -
MOSCOW, Aug. 08 (MNA) – Two months after neighboring nations launched a boycott against them for allegedly supporting terrorism, Qatar held joint military drills with Turkish soldiers in Doha on Monday.

State-owned newspaper Al-Sharq reported that the exercises are designed to help Qatar’s military protect "vital economic, strategic and infrastructure facilities."

As part of a deal signed in 2014 to support Doha, Turkish lawmakers expedited legislation in early June that deployed hundreds of soldiers to a Qatari military base, according to Reuters.

Though regional powers Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia accused of Qatar of supporting terrorism, cutting off transport links and diplomatic ties in the process, Turkey has maintained its support for the Qatari government. 

Riyadh said it cut ties with Qatar to "protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism."

US President Donald Trump leveled similar allegations against Doha, telling reporters at the White House in early June, "We have to stop the funding of terrorism. I decided… the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding." 

Doha calls these claims "baseless" and "unjustified."

The Arab countries are demanding that Doha shut down its Al Jazeera TV network, sever ties with Iran and shutter the Turkish base, demands that Qatar has so far refused to meet. 

Qatar is a chief supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, a 100-year-old group seen as an extremist organization by other countries, and with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) itself having fundamentalist roots, the two countries have been able to solidify their bond.

SPUTNIK/MNA

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