Arab official: Deploying Turkish troops in Qatar is a declaration of war



Mon, 26 Jun 2017 - 06:59 GMT


Mon, 26 Jun 2017 - 06:59 GMT

Qatari Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani - Reuters

Qatari Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani - Reuters

CAIRO – 26 June 2017: Turkey’s move to deploy troops in Qatar is “provocative” and an “escalating” type of policy against GCC countries, senior Arab official told Egypt Today on Monday.

“Erdogan regime has to understand that deploying troops in Qatar amid rift within the GCC is considered a declaration of war,” said the official who asked to remain anonymous.

He added that all the counties that severed ties with Qatar announced that they respect the tiny gulf Kingdom’s sovereignty and the Military is not an option in this crisis.

“Turkey interference policy is making everybody an enemy for Ankra, Erodgan government has to be wise in its moves in this region, especially when it decide to deploy troops in an Arab country,” the official said.

After Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE had cut ties with Qatar in June 5, the small Gulf state found a strategic partner and ally in Turkey.

105 Turkish cargo planes filled with food were sent to Qatar since the beginning of the crisis.

Turkey fast-tracked legislation to allow more troops to be deployed in Qatar, following which a contingent of 23 soldiers reached Doha.

The Turkish base aims to train Qatari soldiers and increase the tiny Persian Gulf nation's security, however, deploying 5,000 Turkish soldiers in Qatar was not considered as part of the mutual military cooperation between Doha and Ankra, but to protect the Tamim regime from his neighbors. In response to this they reiterated that Qatar will not never use the military option against an Arab country.

On Monday Bahrain's foreign minister accused Qatar of creating a military escalation in a dispute with regional powers, in an apparent reference to Doha's decision to let more Turkish troops enter its territory.

Bahrain, alongside Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar three weeks ago, accusing it of backing militants - then issued an ultimatum, including demands that Qatar to shut down a Turkish military base in Doha.

Turkey, the most powerful regional player to stand with Qatar, has increased the number of its troops in the base since the crisis erupted.

"The foundation of the dispute with Qatar is diplomatic and security-oriented, never military," Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, posted on Twitter.

"Bringing in foreign armies and their armored vehicles is the military escalation that Qatar has created," he added, without mentioning Turkey.

In earlier tweets on Sunday, Sheikh Khalid said external interference would not solve the problem.

The four Arab powers' ultimatum, which also included demands for the closure of Al Jazeera television and the curbing of ties with Iran, appears aimed at dismantling Qatar's two-decade-old interventionist foreign policy.

That policy has reflected the power generated by its vast natural gas and oil wealth but incensed conservative Arab peers over its alleged support for terrorism.

Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armored vehicles have arrived in Doha since the crisis erupted, along with 100 cargo planes loaded with supplies.

Turkey also rushed through legislation to send more troops to the Turkish base in Qatar, days after the sanctions were imposed, to show support.

On Sunday, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the ultimatum as unlawful interference in Qatar's affairs.



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