Turkey, Qatar to hold joint naval exercise
DOHATurkey and Qatar will hold joint naval drills on Aug. 6-7, as part of a two-stage joint exercise amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Doha and several other Arab states, Anadolu Agency reported on Aug. 4.
According to the report, Qatari Emiri Navy Commander Rear Adm Mohammed Nasser al-Mohannadi visited Turkish frigate TCG Gökova, docked at Hamad Port with a personnel of 214, earlier this week.
The coordination of actions to be taken as part of the drill was discussed on board the frigate.
Turkey’s parliament on June 7 ratified legislation to allow more troops to be deployed to the military base in Qatar set up as part of an agreement signed in 2014.
The countries started a joint military exercise on Aug. 1 with the participation of over 250 Turkish troops and more than 30 armored vehicles.
The long-planned exercises are part of a mutual agreement aimed at “strengthening the defense capabilities of both countries,” as well as “boosting efforts to combat armed groups and maintaining stability in the region,” according to Turkish officials.
The latest joint exercises come amid political tension among Gulf countries.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and a number of other countries recently cut ties with Qatar, accusing the emirate of supporting terrorism.
Doha denies the accusations and says measures imposed by its Gulf neighbors amount to a “blockade.”