Turkey’s military presence in Qatar is a factor of instability in the Gulf region and contributes to negative polarisation, Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates’ state minister for foreign affairs said on Saturday, Reuters reported.
“The Turkish military presence in the Arab Gulf is an emergency,” Reuters cited Gargash as saying.
“It reinforces polarisation, and it does not take into account the sovereignty of states and the interests of the Gulf countries and its people.”
Turkish soldiers were first deployed to Qatar in October 2015, to boost bilateral relations. But since Qatar’s Gulf neighbours, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, placed it under a blockade in June 2017, Turkey’s military presence has taken on greater significance.
Among the demands of the Saudi-led bloc was that Qatar ends its military cooperation with Turkey and remove all Turkish troops from Qatar. Instead, Turkey sent more troops to Qatar that December, increasing its alignment with Qatar, which has the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves.