Update: the bill has passed, Bloomberg reports:
- TURKEY APPROVES BILL ALLOWING TRAINING TO QATAR SECURITY FORCES
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In the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Gulf/Arab peers, which is either the result of Saudi nat gas envy or – for those who watch CNN – Russian hacking, Turkey has emerged as a vocal supporter of the small but wealthy state. On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Erdogan defended Qatar, saying he personally would have intervened if accusations that the tiny Gulf emirate supports “terrorism” were true and said he intends to “develop” ties with the embattled Gulf state hit by sanctions from Saudi Arabia and its allies.
“Let me say at the outset that we do not think the sanctions against Qatar are good,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.”Turkey will continue and will develop our ties with Qatar, as with all our friends who have supported us in the most difficult moments,” he added in reference to last year’s failed coup. The support puts Turkey in a complicated position because while the NATO member has close ties with Qatar it also has good relations with the other Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia.
Turkey’s support for Qatar also has ideological reasons as in the past both both have provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and backed rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Erdogan was careful not to criticise Riyadh, calling on the member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council to “resolve their differences through dialogue”.
“Efforts to isolate Qatar … will not solve any problem,” said Erdogan, praising Doha’s “cool-headedness” and “constructive approach”.
“Presenting Qatar as a supporter of terrorism is a serious accusation,” the Turkish leader said. “I know [Qatar’s leaders] well and if that had been the case, I would have been the first head of state to confront them” which of course is ironic coming from near-dictator, who last year cracked down on over 100,000 Turkish citizens accusing them of cooperating with Fethulah Gulen’s “shadow state”, and who has been accused of using false flag terrorist attacks to crack down on the Kurdish minority in his country.
On Wednesday morning Turkish support for Qatar escalated after the country’s parliament was expected to fast-track a draft bill allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar, officials from the ruling AK Party and the nationalist opposition said. (Click to Article)