Home Middle East & Turkey Middle East Qatar-Turkey strengthens Economic & Strategic Partnership Amid Controversies

Qatar-Turkey strengthens Economic & Strategic Partnership Amid Controversies

Turkey and Qatar are jointly working to strengthen their economies to counter their respective regional enemies. There are lessons for other Muslim states to learn from Turkey-Qatar partnership.

Qatar

Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay opened Friday the Qatari-Turkish Business Forum “Investment Opportunities in Qatar“, organized by Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Qatar Chamber and the Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade in Ankara.

Turkey and Qatar enjoy friendly and brotherly relations despite the latter’s blockade by Arab states since 2017. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charge and says the boycott aims to infringe on its sovereignty.

Trade between Qatar and Turkey is expected to have hit $2 billion in 2018, a Turkish official said, up 54 percent from the previous last year and underscoring Ankara’s solidified role as a top ally to Qatar amid a political rift in the Gulf region.

Qatar-Turkey trade volume for the first 10 months of 2018, the latest data available, indicates $1.7 billion of total trade, higher than the $1.3 billion in all of 2017, a Turkish trade official told international media. That trade includes goods such as Turkish food and building materials to Qatar and Qatari liquefied natural gas and aluminium to Turkey.

A number of ministers, senior officials, several business owners, and Turkish businessmen attended the opening ceremony.

Read more: Qatar backs Turkey’s Military Operation in Syria despite Opposition from US

Both Qatar and Turkey have decided to deepen their economic ties in order to expand areas of cooperation and mutual development. Qatari Prime Minister delivered a speech on the occasion, saying that the common denominators between the two countries constitute a solid base for the development and strengthening of economic and trade relations, in addition to the significant development witnessed in bilateral trade relations under the agreements concluded, especially the economic and trade partnership, which is a clear evidence of the effectiveness of the decisions and actions taken in recent years in implementation of the directives of the leaders of the two countries.

The Prime Minister praised the efforts of the Turkish private sector and the aspiration to enable the Qatari and Turkish businessmen to establish successful projects for the benefit of the two countries. He pointed out that this meeting reflects the keenness to communicate between the two sides, exchange views, and highlight the promising investment opportunities and coordinate joint efforts to consolidate economic integration with Turkey.

Moreover, to overcome obstacles to achieve greater prosperity and progress for both parties and contribute to the consolidation of the State’s march in achieving its national vision aimed at transforming Qatar by 2030 to a developed country capable of achieving sustainable development.

Meanwhile, Turkish Vice-President Fuad Aktay has affirmed the solid relations between Qatar and Turkey, noting that the two countries offer a model of solidarity for the whole world by supporting each other under difficult circumstances.

In his speech during the Qatari-Turkish Business Forum “Investment Opportunities in Qatar”, which was inaugurated by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, Vice-President Aktay praised the rising trade and economic relations between Qatar and Turkey, noting that the two countries are currently celebrating the 46th anniversary of diplomatic relations, and are proud of the level of co-operation between them.

Read more: Dispute Between Qatar and Gulf Neighbors No Longer Acceptable: Kuwait

Aktay welcomed HE the Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation at the forum organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Qatar, the Qatar Chamber and the Turkish Ministry of Commerce, noting that the forum brings together the most prominent members of the business from Qatar and Turkey.

It is important to note that recently Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said has clarified that Turkey’s military incursion isn’t expansionist but because it faced an “imminent threat” from Kurdish groups on its Syrian border. As a matter of fact, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also clarified that the offensive aims to remove the Kurdish-led forces from the border area and create a “safe zone” to which millions of Syrian refugees can be returned. Currently, Turkey is hosting over 3.6 million refugees.

He was speaking at Global Security Forum in Doha when he comprehensively addressed the matter and explained it to the world that the situation is like now. “In the beginning [Turkey] said ‘don’t support these groups’,” Abdulrahman said, referring to Kurdish elements such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) that helped the US-led coalition combat the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

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