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Qatar’s defense minister to visit Ankara on Friday amid Gulf crisis

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Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah will visit Turkey on Friday and meet with his Turkish counterpart, Fikri Işık, amid a crisis between several Arab countries and Qatar due to its alleged financial support for terrorist groups.

According to a state-run Anadolu news agency story, Al Attiyah and Işık will meet in Ankara. The Qatari minister’s other meetings with Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, were not mentioned.

In early June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen imposed a diplomatic and economic blockade on Qatar, which they accuse of supporting terrorism, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Turkey has vowed to stand by Qatar and called on Saudi Arabia to end all sanctions.

Immediately after the countries imposed sanctions on Qatar, Turkey’s Parliament approved two agreements for deploying troops to Qatar and military cooperation. Ankara has also sent supplies, including a ship carrying 4,000 tons of food.

As Saudi Arabia has the only land border with Qatar, which was closed when the crisis began, Turkey has thus far sent 105 cargo planes of supplies to Qatar, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi recently said.

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