Turkey debates military support for Qatar

Turkey’s parliament begins debating legislation for increased military cooperation with Qatar in an apparent move to support the country amid its dispute with Saudi Arabia and other regional nations.

Separate bills for the training of military personnel and the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar are being moved up parliament’s agenda, a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced support for Qatar and criticized other countries’ moves to isolate it.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen have accused Qatar of harboring extremists and backing Riyadh’s regional rival, Iran. Qatar has denied the allegations.

Turkey and Qatar have developed close ties over the years and reached an agreement in 2014 for the construction of a Turkish base there. Turkish officials have said as many as 3,000 Turkish troops could be deployed in Qatar.

— AP

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