Qatar will continue to support Turkey without hesitation with a relationship that should be taken as an example by other countries, a Qatari envoy said on Thursday.
"Qatar will support its fellow country Turkey in every area to get over its economic crisis and will not hesitate in doing it," said Saleem Mubarak al-Shafi, Qatari envoy to Ankara, referring to the aftermath of U.S. sanctions that were imposed on Turkey last week.
Turkey-U.S. relations took a nosedive last week when Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey's interior and justice ministers after Ankara refused to release an American pastor who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey. Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump upped the ante by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports. In response, Turkey raised tariffs on several U.S.-made goods, including alcohol and tobacco products and vehicles.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), al-Shafi pointed out that Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani became the first statesman to visit Turkey following the U.S. sanctions and supported the country's economy with $15 billion. He also said that Turkey-Qatar relations are at the level that should be taken as an example by other states as well since it is based on mutual respect and unchangeable principles.
"In Qatar, loyalty is one of our basic principles. In the Gulf crisis, Turkey sided with Qatar, which was the rightful side. Turkey also has an honorable stance when it comes to the region and Muslim world," envoy said, adding that Qatar has investments in Turkey worth more than $20 billion.
In June 2017, a handful of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, abruptly severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the tiny Gulf country, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
The Qatari government has denied the accusation, blasting the blockade as unjustified and a violation of international law. Amid the rift, Turkey has provided increased support to Qatar, boosting food and other exports to meet any shortages.
"Qatar and Turkey have a mutual stance on many subjects regarding humanitarian and political issues. Our relations are also inclusive politically, economically and militarily," he added. Highlighting that Qatar is a friend of Turkey in bad times as well as good times, al-Shafi said that Turkey's economic and political stability means the stability of the whole region. The envoy also underlined that they have their full trust in Turkey.
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani visited Ankara Wednesday in an apparent show of support for Turkey, pledging $15 billion in direct investments in the country that found itself embroiled in a crisis with the U.S.