Arabic AR Chinese (Simplified) ZH-CN English EN French FR German DE Japanese JA Portuguese PT Russian RU Spanish ES Ukrainian UK

Bahrain’s FM in about-turn over Turkish base in Qatar

Latest news

    Just over two weeks after stating that Turkey’s military presence in Qatar has no relation to an ongoing Gulf crisis, Bahrain’s foreign minister appears to have performed a complete U-turn.

    Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa on Monday accused Qatar of creating a “military escalation” in the regional diplomatic dispute, in an apparent reference to the long-planned deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar’s capital, Doha, in recent days.

    “The disagreement with Qatar is a political and security dispute and has never been military,” Khalid bin Ahmed said on Twitter.

    “But the deployment of foreign troops with their armoured vehicles is a military escalation for which Qatar will bear the consequences.”

    OPINION: What is the Qatar-GCC showdown really about?

    Yet, these remarks contradicted previous statements made by Khalid bin Ahmed during a visit to Turkey in June 10, three days after Turkey’s parliament fast-tracked the approval of a 2016 agreement with Qatar that allowed troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in the Gulf state. 

    What is behind the campaign against Al Jazeera?

    “This base has been established … to protect the countries in the region from threats that might emerge. It has nothing to do what is going on between us and Qatar,” Khalid bin Ahmed said at the time during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, according to Turkey’s state-run media.

    For his part, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said in the news conference that no country in the Arab Gulf region should regard the deal about Turkey’s base in Qatar as hostile.

    He also stated that the setting up of the base was aimed at contributing to the security and stability of all Gulf countries – a statement welcomed by Bahrain’s foreign minister.

    “[The Turkish foreign minister] stressed that this base has been set up in order to protect the security and stability of the GCC countries and will not be used against anyone,” Khalid bin Ahmed said at the same press briefing.

    He had added: “We are pleased with this statement.”

    Gulf rift

    Along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and a number of other countries, Bahrain severed relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism” and Iran. Qatar strongly rejects the accusations.

    Last week, the four Arab countries reportedly gave Qatar 10 days to comply with a list of 13 demands to end the crisis, insisting, among others, that Qatar close the same Turkish military base that Khalifa had acknowledged as helping in the protection of the region’s security during his Turkey visit earlier this month.

    Qatari officials immediately dismissed the document as neither reasonable or actionable.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday also denounced the demands of the Saudi-Emirati-led bloc as being “against international law”.

    Turkish troops deployed

    Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armoured vehicles have arrived in Doha since the crisis erupted following the Ankara-based parliament’s approval of the April 2016 deal.

    Turkish and Qatari forces have also carried out long-planned military exercises, which are part of a mutual agreement aimed at strengthening the defence capabilities of both countries, as well as boosting efforts to combat armed groups and maintaining stability in the region. That deal was signed by the two countries in December 2015.

    READ MORE: An Open Letter from Al Jazeera

    Earlier in June, Erdogan said that he had offered to also build a military base in Saudi Arabia after work began on the Turkish base in Qatar.

    “I made the same offer to King Salman … and said that if it’s appropriate we could also establish a base in Saudi Arabia. They said they would look into it but since that day nothing more came,” he told the Portuguese broadcaster RTP.

    Shortly after Erdogan’s statement, officials in the kingdom rejected the offer, according to Saudi Arabia’s state-run media.

    Before the arrival of the Turkish troops, Qatar’s foreign minister had clarified that their deployment in Doha was for the sake of the entire region’s security.

    In an interview with Al Jazeera on June 8, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also insisted that the crisis be solved by peaceful means.

    “There cannot ever be a military solution to this problem,” he said.

    View the original article:

    Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

    In the same category are

    Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa pardons 3,000 prisoners The mass pardon was Mnangagwa's first act of clemency since he was sworn in as president Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pardoned up to...
    iPhone: Designed in California but imported from China Apple Inc's iPhones are assembled in China and count as a Chinese export to the United States US President Donald Trump often tweets from his iPhon...
    Activists renew call to end Yemen war after US senate bill falure The Senate voted against a motion which called for an end to US military aid to Saudi-led coalition forces fighting in Yemen Human rights advocates...
    India’s Seychelles military base plan hits choppy waters Seychelles is of strategic importance to Asian powers India and China India's plans for building military facilities in the Seychelles have hit cho...
    Trump wants death penalty for opioid dealers US President Donald Trump has argued that the death penalty is a fitting punishment for drug traffickers heightening the opioid epidemic. The scourge ...
    Netherland: No trial for ‘shocking’ PEGIDA PEDIGA protest in Germany. An Islamophobic far-right group that planted crosses on a construction site for a mosque in the eastern Netherlands will...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *