Turkish, Qatari defense ministers meet in Ankara

Turkish, Qatari defense ministers meet in Ankara

ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkish, Qatari defense ministers meet in Ankara

Turkey's defense minister and his Qatari counterpart on July 20 met in the capital Ankara to discuss bilateral security cooperation as well as regional issues.

In the meeting, Hulusi Akar and Khalid bin Mohammed el-Atiye stressed the strategic partnership between the two countries.

On security cooperation, Akar said Turkey appreciates Qatar's efforts to promote stability in Libya.

Last weekend, Akar visited Qatar and met with Qatari officials.

Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Its new government, headed by premier Fayez al-Sarraj, was founded in 2015 under a U.N.-led agreement.

Efforts for a long-term political settlement, however, have so far failed due to an ongoing military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar. In recent months, the Libyan Army has made significant gains against Haftar.

Turkey supports the country’s legitimate government, while Haftar has support from Russia, Egypt, the UAE, and France.

'Turkey will continue to stand with Azerbaijan'

Meanwhile, in the wake of aggression by Armenia, Turkey will continue to stand with its Azerbaijani brothers in the face of military attacks and other challenges, said Akar on July 20. 

Akar made the remarks in the capital Ankara when receiving Ramiz Tahirov, Azerbaijan’s deputy defense minister, and Kerem Mustafayev, army chief of the Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic, an exclave of Azerbaijan bordering Armenia, Turkey, and Iran.

At the meeting, also attended by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and other top ministry officials, Akar and Azerbaijani officials stressed the brotherhood between the two countries.

Akar stressed, against the backdrop of the attacks by neighboring Armenia, that Turkey will always stand with its Azerbaijani brothers.On the security of Azerbaijan and the region, Akar said Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces will continue to do what they have to do, adding: "No one should doubt that."

After killing a dozen Azerbaijani soldiers since June 12, Armenian forces, suffering losses from Azerbaijani retaliation, have withdrawn.

Azerbaijan has blasted Armenia’s "provocative" actions, with Turkey supporting Baku and warning Yerevan that it will not hesitate to stand against any attack on its eastern neighbor.

Since 1991 the Armenian military has illegally occupied the Upper Karabakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four U.N. Security Council and two U.N. General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many international organizations, decry the illegal occupation and demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and
seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.