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Turkey’s Erdogan hosts Qatari emir amid Gulf rift

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Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in the capital Ankara, officials said on Thursday.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Qatar, as well as regional and international developments were expected to be discussed in the meeting, according to a statement released by the Presidency earlier this week, XInhua news agency reported.

Ankara has been a major supporter of Doha in the crisis that left Qatari diplomatically and economically isolated.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a boycott on it, accusing the tiny gas-rich country of supporting terrorism and seeking closer ties with Iran, a Saudi rival.

To help its chief rally in the Gulf region, Turkey has delivered food to Qatar both by air and sea after the Arab boycott against Doha.

The latest reports indicate that Turkey’s exports to Qatar hiked to $165 million in the past three months, with a remarkable surge of 84 percent year on year.

Moreover, Ankara built a military base in Qatar and reportedly has deployed around 200 troops there.

IANS

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