HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.
Turkey and Qatar on Friday insisted Ankara would keep a new military base in Qatar, rejecting demands from other Gulf countries for the facility to be closed.
“No country has the right to raise the issue of the Turkish base or the military co-operation between Qatar and Turkey as long as this co-operation respects international law,” HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told reporters in Ankara.
Speaking after meeting HE Sheikh Mohamed, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the demands to close the base “go against the two countries’ sovereignty”.
“A third country has no right to say something to Qatar or Turkey. Everyone must respect this,” he added.
Cavusoglu added that until now, there had been “no objections” over the base, Turkey’s first military facility in the Gulf region.
He also pointed to the lack of objections to the presence in Qatar of the largest American airbase in the Middle East, seen as crucial to the US-led campaign against the Islamic State group.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will visit the key players in the crisis — including Qatar and Saudi Arabia — in the next weeks.
The top Qatari diplomat, who met Erdogan later, said Doha was being subjected to an “unjust siege” imposed “without any reason”.
After cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar last month, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain issued 13 wide-ranging demands to lift a blockade placed on Qatar, including the closure of the Turkish military base.
Shortly after the crisis unfolded, Turkey’s parliament approved a legislation allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar. Ankara fast-tracked the deployment of troops at the base as part of a bilateral defence deal agreed in late 2014.
Last Tuesday, Qatar’s Ministry of Defence announced the arrival of the fifth batch of Turkish troops in Qatar. Arrival of the latest batch was expected to boost training tasks within the framework of military co-operation between Qatar and Turkey and activate the terms of defence agreements between the two countries.
The Turkish troops have been carrying out their training tasks since their first arrival in Doha on June 19.