World War III? Turkey backs Qatar in dispute with Saudi Arabia

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Qatar after Saudi Arabia and several other countries severed diplomatic ties with it.The Turkish Parliament has ratified an accord to deploy additional troops to Qatar.

 

Turkish officials say as many as 3000 extra troops could be sent to Qatar. The move came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan voiced support for Qatar and criticised other countries’ moves to isolate it.

Turkey has also pledged food and water supplies as fears of shortages have mounted since the closing of land, sea and air access to Qatar.

 

Erdogan reportedly tried to intervene after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and took other measures to pressure it. He then convened a special session of Parliament to authorise the dispatch of up to 3,000 troops to Qatar and hold military exercises with the country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the Arab states’ move, saying isolating Qatar and imposing sanctions will not resolve any problems and adding that Ankara will do everything in its power to help end the crisis. “I hope that all sanctions against Qatar will be lifted as soon as possible,” Erdogan said.

 

Suleyman Sensoy, chairman of the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies said:
“Obviously Qatar is being punished by certain countries, I think the mounting anger from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United States toward Qatar’s policies has triggered this crisis. Turkey will continue to rely on bilateral or multilateral diplomacy in an attempt to get the situation back to normal.”

Turkey is a key ally of Qatar and is setting up a military base in the country which also hosts the largest US airbase in the Middle East.Turkey agreed last year to open a military base in Doha and had already dispatched 150-300 troops there.

Five neighbouring Gulf nations have accused Qatar of harbouring extremists and backing Riyadh’s regional rival, Iran. Allegations Qatar denies.

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