Qatari Emir meets Erdoğan in Ankara, pledges $15 billion investment to Turkey

Wed 15 August 2018 15:24 GMT | 19:24 Local Time

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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.

The Qatari emir was welcomed at the Presidential Complex in Ankara in an official ceremony. He met President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The two leaders discussed the U.S. sanctions against Turkey, bilateral relations as well as other regional developments. They were accompanied by the finance ministers of both countries.

"We care about this visit. It signifies that Qatar is beside Turkey," Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın told a press conference before yesterday's meeting, according to Daily Sabah.

Earlier Monday, Erdoğan had a phone call with Al-Thani. They discussed bilateral relations and regional issues, confirmed presidential sources on condition of anonymity. They also highlighted the importance of further improving bilateral ties, the source added.

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 an increased support to Qatar, boosting food and other exports to meet any shortages.

Turkey also maintains a military base in Qatar. The two countries inked a military cooperation deal in October 2014, allowing for joint training exercises, cooperation on defense manufacture and the deployment of Turkish forces on Qatari territory.

The first batch of Turkish troops arrived in capital Doha on Oct. 4, 2015, and the Turkish flag was hoisted at the military base four days later.

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