In this photo provided by the Presidential Press Service, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani shake hands before a meeting at his new presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.
CAIRO – 4 August 2017: In another provocative step against Arab countries, Turkey and Qatar announced new economic and trade projects during their business forum held on Thursday.
The Turkish and Qatari economy ministers held a business forum in Turkey, and 250 Qatari businessmen from various sectors attended in order to boost bilateral trade and investments.
In a direct challenge to the Arab’s boycott of Qatar, the Turkish minister stated that the “Turkish economy can satisfy all the needs of Qatar, from food to tourism, and from construction to energy.”
Turkey also proposed that Qatar be part of joint food production. It has already sent 5,000 metric tons of foodstuffs to Qatar since the beginning of the crisis in June.
During the business forum, they announced their intention to extend a new sea line between the two countries next October.
Lately, Turkey has expressed its thoughts about establishing land trade routes with Qatar, passing through Iran.
Turkish military cooperation with Qatar has also been obvious recently, as Turkey has placed more than 11 security checkpoints in Doha to inspect Qatari citizens and inhabitants, said the Qatari opposition coalition on its unverified Twitter account Qatar Mubashir on Thursday.
Turkish warship TCG Gokova is gearing up to take part in joint drills in the Arab Gulf waters, according to the Qatari Defense Ministry.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab and Gulf states have been strained since May 24, when the Qatari state-run news agency reported Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s statements regarding Gulf foreign policy with Iran, which he described as “unwise.”
On June 5, 2017, several countries, including Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, severed diplomatic ties with Doha over accusations of Qatar backing and funding terrorist groups.
On June 23, 2017, the four Arab states boycotting Qatar sent Doha a list of 13 demands, including closing a Turkish airbase in Qatar.