Turkey to deploy troops in Qatar in line with military deal

Turkey to deploy troops in Qatar in line with military deal

Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
Turkey to deploy troops in Qatar in line with military deal

Residents look for survivors at a damaged site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in the old city of Aleppo, June 7. Reuters Photo

A comprehensive military and defense industry agreement between Turkey and Qatar will enable the former to deploy troops in Qatari territories for joint drills and training purposes, in a bid to further intensify the partnership between the two countries. 

The details of the agreement signed in December 2014 on cooperation in military training, the defense industry, and deployment of the Turkish Armed Forces in Qatari territory were finally published in the Official Gazette on June 8. 

The deal was inked by Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Qatari Defense Minister Major General Hamad Bin Ali al-Attiyah in Ankara. 

The military deal is seen as another step between Turkey and Qatar, whose regional partnership especially in Syria is becoming more visible through joint actions. 

According to the agreement, the two countries will also open their territories to each other’s military forces for joint military exercises, and Turkish forces will be deployed in Qatar for training and joint exercises. 

It added that the two countries will be able to use each other’s ports, airports and airspace, to deploy forces on each other’s territory and thus mutually benefit from facilities, camps, units, and institutions. 

The two countries will also “cooperate in the fight against terrorism,” the agreement states.
Parties will not apply to tribune in case of dispute

One particularly noteworthy aspect of the agreement is on the settlement of any disputes between Ankara and Doha. 

“Any dispute that may arise during the implementation phase or in interpretation of this agreement shall be settled through consultations and negotiations between the parties. They shall not apply to any national or international tribunal or third party,” reads the agreement. 

Negotiations will begin within 30 days after the matter of dispute and in the event that the dispute cannot be settled within 60 days the parties may terminate the agreement, according to the text. Otherwise, the agreement will remain in force for a period of 10 years.

Timing of deal also important 

The signing and entry into force of the agreement comes at a time when the two countries, together with Saudi Arabia, have geared up their efforts to provide more logistical support to the Free Syrian Army and its components in the struggle against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey has already announced its willingness to cooperate with the two countries for the protection of anti-regime fighters inside Syria by establishing no-fly zones and security zones, in the event the United States and other Western allies do not favor such a move.