Turkey Parliament ratifies Qatar military deals
08 Jun 2017 - 1:29
Ankara: Turkey brought forward troop deployment to Qatar yesterday and also pledged to provide crucial food and water supplies.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said isolating Qatar would not resolve any problems. Erdogan said Ankara would do everything in its power to help end the regional crisis.
Lawmakers from Erdogan's ruling AK Party and the nationalist opposition MHP were the main backers of the bill that allows troops to be deployed to Turkey's base in Qatar, but the main opposition CHP party said the timing sent the wrong message.
The Turkish parliament has also endorsed an accord between the two countries on military training cooperation. Both bills were drawn up before the spat erupted.
Turkey's main exporters' body said it was ready to meet food and water supply demands from Qatar, after a Qatari official said Doha was in talks with Iran and Turkey to ensure trade disruptions did not create shortages.
Grain traders said Qatar appears to have a comfortable immediate supply of wheat.
"Qatar recently purchased about 20,000 tonnes of Russian milling wheat which according to my calculations has just arrived in past days or will arrive in coming days," one European grain trader said.
Turkey set up a military base in Qatar, its first such installation in the Middle East, as part of an agreement signed in 2014. In 2016, Ahmet Davutoglu, then Turkish prime minister, visited the base where 150 personnel are already stationed, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.
In an interview in late 2015, Ahmet Demirok, Turkey's Ambassador to Qatar at the time, said 3,000 ground troops would eventually be deployed at the base, which was primarily to serve as a venue for joint training exercises.
The text of the draft bill, which includes the agreement between Qatar and Turkey on the base, shows the cooperation will be primarily about the modernisation of Qatar's military, as well as widening cooperation in training and war exercises.
The bill did not specify how many troops would go nor when.