Erdoğan in Doha: Turkey Set to Open a New Military Base

Turkey-Qatar military base serves regional ‘stability’; The visit came as local media reported Qatar intends to buy 100 Turkish tanks

DESPARDES — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, on Monday in Doha.

The Turkish President will be attending the 5th meeting of Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Erdoğan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tami bin Hamada Al-Thani will jointly preside over the meeting, according to Turkey’s Directorate of Communications.

Turkey and Qatar are close allies and economic partners, particularly since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017.

Opportunities to further develop cooperation between the ally countries in various fields, and an exchange of views on regional and international issues are expected to be covered in the meeting, Anatoly said.

Bilateral trade between Turkey and Qatar, which for years have maintained largely aligned regional foreign policies, increased 80 percent last year, and many Turkish firms have been awarded construction contracts in Qatar.

Turkey is also set to open a new military base near the existing Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command, according to Hürriyet Daily News.

Erdogan said the construction of a new Turkish military base has been completed in Qatar and it will be named after the famous Muslim commander Khalid bin Walid.

He spoke to troops at the Turkish base where about 5,000 soldiers have been stationed since the blockade started more than two years ago. The visit came as local media reported Qatar intends to buy 100 Turkish tanks. reported Aljazeera.

The Turkish president is expected to visit the center, which has been active since Oct. 2015, during his visit. 

“It [Turkey-Qatar Combined Joint Force Command] serves stability and peace of not only Qatar but also the Gulf region,” Erdogan said after meeting troops at the newly finished base. 

The command center was named after Khalid bin Walid – one of the Islamic world’s greatest generals who commanded armies of the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.

The two sides are also expected to sign a number of agreements during the meeting, Anadolu said.