DOHA: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Thursday that bilateral relations with the State of Qatar are built based on the strong historic and cultural bond. He added that Turkey considers Qatar a partner in the region, stressing that the security of the GCC benefits Turkey.
In an interview with Al Sharq newspaper, Arinc noted that bilateral cooperation between both countries extend to political, economic, cultural, defense and even the tourism sector.
He added that the dialogue at the highest level gives way for nurturing stronger bilateral relation and cooperation on different regional issues.
Arinc expressed his thanks to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for participating in the inauguration of Recep Tayip Erdogan as the new President of Turkey.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted that HH the Emir visited Turkey twice this year, in February and July. Erdogan's last visit to the State of Qatar on the other hand was as a Prime Minister, in December 2013.
Focusing more specifically on bilateral relations, the Deputy Prime Minister said that relations with the State of Qatar are viewed as strategic. He added that the Turkish administration is looking to bolster ties in military, economic, investment and agricultural fields.
He expressed his dissatisfaction with the level of bilateral trade, registered at $862 million last year. He said that the two countries are working on improving bilateral trade to cross the $1 billion mark.
The Turkish Deputy Prime Minister said that the administration in Turkey is in close contact with Qatar on regional affairs such as the Palestinian issues and developments in Syria and Iraq.
He highlighted that bilateral cooperation with Qatar helps bring stability, peace and development a step closer to the region.
On the Syrian crisis, he said that the Syrian people have been subjected to unprecedented violence that took the lives of more than 200,000 people.
More than half of the population, he added, live without their basic needs and more than three million people are now seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
Syrian refugees in Turkey have exceeded one million.
The cost of hosting them has crossed the $3 billion mark. (QNA)