Erdogan approves bill to deploy troops to Qatar
Iran Press TV
Fri Jun 9, 2017 7:22AM
Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan has approved legislation that allows the deployment of Turkish military forces to Qatar, in what has been interpreted as a sign of Ankara's support for Doha in the face of attempts by certain Arab countries to isolate Qatar.
Erdogan approved the legislation concerning the deployment of troops to a Turkish base in Qatar and military training cooperation between the two countries on Thursday.
The Turkish parliament had pushed the bill through and ratified it on Wednesday, and Erdogan's approval late on Thursday completed the legislative process, the Official Gazette reported on Friday.
The legislation did not specify when and how many troops would be deployed.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, the Maldives, and Egypt broke off ties to Qatar on Monday, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. They also suspended all land, air, and sea traffic with Qatar, ejected its diplomats, and ordered Qatari citizens to leave.
The move is widely believed to have been spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, which often manages to have its vassal states fall in line. Also, Saudi Arabia itself is known as the main sponsor of the violent Wahhabi terrorists that it has accused Qatar of supporting. Some analysts believe the Saudi anger is rather because Qatar acts more independently of Riyadh, including partially in its relations with Iran.
Turkey initially attempted to stay impartial in the dispute between the Arab countries but gradually tilted toward Qatar. Erdogan later made clear that he disapproved of the restrictions that have been imposed on Qatar.
Turkey and Qatar are both the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt, which is opposed to the government there. The current Egyptian president came to power in a coup that toppled a democratically-elected president affiliated to the Brotherhood.
Qatar and Turkey also support the militants fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. But they have both been in some form of cooperation with Iran and Russia – Assad's allies – in certain attempts to ease some of the sufferings in Syria.
Iran and Turkey have also offered to provide foodstuffs to Qatar as it faces the blockage of transit routes by Saudi Arabia and its client states.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani earlier acknowledged Iran's readiness to supply food for his country.
He said Qatar had never before experienced such hostility from Arab states.
On Thursday, he said Doha would not surrender the independence of its foreign policy to the hostile Arab countries.
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