Voice of America — Turkey’s decision to send up to 3,000 troops to Qatar further cements their growing ties, but it virtually eliminates a possible role for Ankara to mediate between Qatar and the Gulf states that have decided to isolate it for alleged support of terrorism.
Both countries have found themselves increasingly isolated Turkey for the increasing authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatar for its alleged financial support of extremist groups and growing ties with Iran, the main competitor to Saudi Arabia for power and influence in the region. Qatar denies the allegation.
Erdogan reportedly tried to intervene after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen cut diplomatic ties Monday with Qatar and took other measures to pressure it. He then convened a special session of Parliament on Wednesday night to authorize the dispatch of up to 3,000 troops to Qatar and hold military exercises with the country.
Saying both countries faced the “same threats,” Turkey agreed last year to open a military base in Doha and had already dispatched 150-300 troops there. The agreements that were finalized Wednesday were signed in 2016 but had not yet been approved before suddenly being pushed to the top of Parliament’s agenda.
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