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Erdogan vows continued military support for Qatar during Doha visit

A handout photo provided by the Turkish Prime Minister Press Office on November 15, 2017, shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shaking hands with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (L) as he is received in the Qatari capital Doha. (Photos by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed continued military support for Qatar amid its ongoing political crisis with a Saudi-led bloc of countries.

Erdogan gave the pledge during a trip to Doha where he also offered the "readiness" of his country’s private sector to aid Qatar in its multi-billion dollar projects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Qatar News Agency reported on Wednesday.

"Erdogan stressed the continued support of Turkey to the state of Qatar in various areas, especially in the industrial and military fields," said the report.

During his trip, Erdogan also met with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the report said, adding that both countries signed several financial, tourism and research agreements.

Before arriving in Doha, Erdogan was in Kuwait to discuss regional and international developments as well as bilateral relations between Turkey and the Persian Gulf countries.

Ahead of the trip, he said he would address the issue of the diplomatic crisis with officials in Kuwait.

Both Turkey and Kuwait have played a mediation role between Qatar and the Saudi-led bloc.

 Turkey has a military base in Qatar, which according to Ankara houses around 3,000 troops.

Turkey took Qatar’s side after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates cut their diplomatic ties and transport links with the emirate on June 5, accusing it of “terror” support. Doha rejects the claim.

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The Saudi-led bloc presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences. Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty.

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