UAE Foreign Minister: ‘Turkish Base In Qatar Destabilises The Region’

“It reinforces polarisation, and it does not take into account the sovereignty of states and the interests of the Gulf countries and its people.”

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Anwar Gargash , the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey’s army in Qatar is an element of instability in the Gulf region, a senior official of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said, adding that it contributed to negative polarisation.

“The Turkish military presence in the Arab Gulf is an emergency,” Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, said on Twitter on Saturday.

“It reinforces polarisation, and it does not take into account the sovereignty of states and the interests of the Gulf countries and its people.”

The United States, which is seeking a united Gulf front against Iran, has tried to resolve the row in which Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and non-Gulf Egypt severed political, trade, and travel links with Qatar over accusations that it backs militants and is cozying up to the regional foe Iran.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan رجب طيب أردوغان meets with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Al-Thani تميم بن حمد آل ثاني‎ in the capital Doha on October 6, 2020. (TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP)

Doha, which hosts the region’s most extensive U.S. military base, denies the accusations and says the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty.

In a recent documentary on Al Jazeera television, Qatar’s state minister for defense accused boycotting nations of having planned to invade Qatar, a charge they have denied in the past.

Turkish troops at a military base in Doha, Qatar. (Qatar News Agency / Handout via Reuters)

In televised remarks, this month, Riyadh’s former intelligence chief described Qatar as a “tick on a camel.”

The UAE and its Arab allies have imposed a boycott on Qatar since mid-2017 and had demanded that Doha close a Turkish military base, among their conditions for ending the rift.

Abu Dhabi and Ankara also back opposing sides in the Libyan conflict.

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