Turkish foreign minister to begin Gulf tour

Turkish foreign minister to begin Gulf tour

Turkish foreign minister to begin Gulf tour

The Turkish foreign minister will embark on a three-day Gulf tour on Feb. 9 for official visits to Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

According to a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Feb. 8, Çavuşoğlu will pay official visits to Kuwait, Oman and Qatar on Feb. 9-11 and “will hold talks with his counterparts and other high-level authorities” on the occasion of these visits.

“During these meetings, various aspects of our bilateral relations will be reviewed and views on current regional and international issues will be exchanged,” added the statement.

He is also scheduled to meet with Turkish businesspeople operating in those countries.

In November, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Qatar’s capital Doha. Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arrived in the Turkish capital to attend the sixth meeting of the Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee on Nov. 26.

Turkey and Qatar signed 10 agreements during the visit of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Ankara, including the transfer of 10 percent of the Borsa Istanbul shares from Turkey’s Wealth Fund to Qatar. Another agreement was inked to transfer the shares of Istanbul’s İstinye Park, a luxury shopping mall.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed for a joint investment in the Made in Istanbul Golden Horn Project. The transfer and purchase of shares of the Middle East Antalya Port Operators from Turkey’s Global Ports to Qatar’s Terminals W.L.L. was also agreed upon. An MOU was also signed for the joint promotion activities between Turkey’s Commerce Ministry and Qatar’s Free Zone Administration.

Ankara and Doha enjoy strong relations, particularly since the 2017 blockade of the Gulf country by Saudi Arabia and others.

The visit by Çavuşoğlu to the region comes after the reconciliation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia on Jan. 4, a move welcomed by Ankara as well.

In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry welcomed the reopening of land, air and sea borders between the two countries, expressing hopes of a comprehensive and lasting solution and that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would lift all other sanctions against the Qatari people as soon as possible.

“Being a strategic partner of the Gulf Cooperation Council and attaching great importance to the security and stability of the Gulf region, Turkey will continue to support all efforts in this direction,” said the statement.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two most prominent countries in the GCC, severed ties with Qatar in mid-2017, alleging that Doha supported terrorism, maintained ties with Iran, permitted Turkey to establish a military base on its soil and supported the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu,