Amid the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Gulf Arab countries, Qatari Minister of Defense Khaled al-Attiyah paid a visit to Ankara on Friday to meet his Turkish counterpart Fikri Işık. Reportedly in the meeting, the two ministers had an extensive discussion about the ongoing military cooperation between the two countries and focused on the Turkish military base in Qatar.
"Qatar and Turkey maintain historic ties and my visit comes in the context of boosting defence cooperation between the two countries," Attiyah said in an interview with London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper prior to his visit to Ankara.
Attiyah also described the blockade imposed by several Arab states on his country as a "bloodless declaration of war".
On June 9, a military agreement was entered into force between Qatar and Turkey. The document was signed on Nov. 10, 2016, in Ankara. Earlier, an agreement between the two countries on the deployment of a Turkish military contingent in Qatar was ratified in turkey. Currently, there are 113 Turkish soldiers in Qatar. The establishment of a Turkish military base in Qatar is envisaged in the agreement to strengthen bilateral cooperation in an agreement signed by the two countries in 2014.
Doha denies the accusations from the Gulf states and has rejected the 13-point list of demands it received from the four countries to restore ties. The 13 demands also include shuttering the Turkish military base in Qatar. Işık said on June 23 that Turkey has no intention of reassessing the status of the Turkish military base in Qatar, stressing that the demand would mean interference in bilateral ties. "The base in Qatar is both a Turkish base and one that will preserve the security of Qatar and the region. It is an important military base, and no country should be disturbed by it," he added.