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Erdoğan says new military base in Qatar completed: report

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday the construction of a new Turkish military base has been completed in Qatar and that it will be named after the famous seventh century Muslim commander Khalid bin Walid, Al Jazeera reported.

Erdoğan arrived in Doha earlier in the day to attend the fifth meeting of the Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee.

He spoke to troops at the Turkish base where about 5,000 soldiers have been stationed since a Saudi Arabia-led blockade started more than two years ago. The visit came as local media reported Qatar intends to buy 100 Turkish tanks.

“It [the Turkey-Qatar Combined Joint Force Command] serves for the stability and peace of not only Qatar but also the Gulf region,” Erdoğan said after meeting with troops at the newly finished base.

Erdoğan described the military base as “the symbol of brotherhood, friendship, solidarity and sincerity.”

“We have never left our friends alone in the face of threats and risks at any period of our history — and we never will,” said Erdoğan.

In June 2017 Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt launched a land, air and sea blockade against Qatar, saying Doha was not adhering to their regional policies. Saudi Arabia closed the border with its neighbor — Qatar’s only land border.

Qatar has denied the accusations of the blockading nations, saying it chooses to pursue an independent foreign policy.

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