Turkey’s Erdogan arrives in Qatar for talks with Sheikh Tamim

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in the Qatari capital Doha for talks with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Erdogan was welcomed upon his arrival on Wednesday by a senior delegation headed by Qatari Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah.

The Turkish leader was accompanied during his one-day visit to the Gulf state by several top officials, including the ministers of finance and defence, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Ankara and Doha enjoy strong relations, particularly since the Gulf crisis erupted on June 5, 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar and severed diplomatic relations.

The blockading countries stopped many vital exports to Qatar, including basic food supplies.

To avoid potential food shortages, Turkey sent cargo planes full of essential items to Qatar within less than 48 hours of the start of the blockade.

Sheikh Tamim in turn was the first world leader to call Erdogan and express support following a failed 2016 coup that saw hundreds of people killed.

The two countries have also strengthened military ties, with Turkey maintaining a military base in Qatar since 2015 – and the two sides’ armies have carried out joint military drills in recent years.

Erdogan’s trip on Wednesday came after the Turkish leader visited Kuwait to offer his condolences to Kuwait’s new Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah over the passing of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah last week at the age of 91.

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