(MENAFN- The Peninsula) By Irfan Bukhari | The Peninsula
Qatar and Turkey are set to sign 12 new agreements in seventh session of Qatari-Turkish Supreme Strategic Committee which will be held today under the chairmanship of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and President of the Republic of Turkey H E Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Qatar enjoys strong, strategic and exceptional partnership relations with Turkey, which have witnessed remarkable growth and development in various fields,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.“The number of agreements between two countries will reach 80.”
H E the Deputy Prime Minister was addressing a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, H E Mevlut Cavusoglu. He also expressed full confidence in the 'solid foundations' of Turkey's economy. The Deputy Prime Minister said that the seventh session of Qatari-Turkish Supreme Strategic Committee will be an opportunity to develop bilateral relations further.
To a question about current situation of Turkey's economy, he said that Qatar closely monitored global economy and observed 'cycles' of ups and downs in global markets.“We are confident that Turkish government will be making necessary interventions to support and assist the economy. We are confident that Turkish economy is diversified and built on solid foundations and this will help the economy to withstand these current conditions.” He further said that Qatar had huge investments in Turkey and they were bearing positive results.
To another questions about Syria, he said:“There were causes and reasons when Arab League membership of Syria was cancelled … these causes are still there. Normalising ties with Syria without seeing concrete steps towards progress of political solution is not possible.”
He added:“There is no sense in normalising (ties) with the regime and I do not think that we are in a position to offer him (Assad) just a free pass to come to the Arab League … this is Qatar's position and we will continue with the same position.”
Regarding his meeting with Turkish counterpart, he said that it was an opportunity to discuss regional developments, coordinate positions of both the countries especially on Afghanistan issue and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
He said both sides discussed on working together to enhance humanitarian, political and economic efforts regarding Afghanistan crisis.“Qatar is working with Turkey and the interim government in Afghanistan to reach an agreement to restore normal operations of Kabul Airport.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said that they also talked about regional issues including the Palestinian issue, as both the countries shared same vision of supporting the Palestinian cause which he said was the“central Arab and Islamic issue”. He said that the meeting also discussed developments in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
To another question about visit of HRH Saudi Crown Prince near the visit of President Erdogan, he said it was a“coincidence”. He hoped that there would be permanent fraternal relations between all brotherly and friendly countries of Qatar.“There are Turkish-Saudi efforts to restore relations between them but there is no relationship between these two visits.”
For his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, stressed the depth of Qatar-Turkey ties.“The agreements that will be signed on Tuesday by the leaderships of the two countries have been finalised. These new pacts will enhance the two countries' relations in the fields of defense, economy, health, tourism, investment, trade and culture.”
He also praised Qatar's placing of Turkey on the 'Green Travel List' to facilitate the transition process between the two countries and revitalise the tourism.
On the Afghanistan issue, he said Turkey and Qatar offered a lot to the people of Afghanistan.“We are coordinating in providing humanitarian support and allocating a budget for these humanitarian efforts,” he added.
He lauded the joint efforts of Turkish Red Crescent and the Qatar Red Crescent for educating girls and paying the salaries of teachers and healthcare workers in cooperation with international organisations.
“Turkey is coordinating with Qatar in calling for continued dialogue with the Taliban in order to contribute to providing humanitarian services to the Afghan people.”
To a question about visits of H E Turkish President and HRH Saudi Crown Prince to Qatar, Turkish Foreign Minister said:“When normalisation of relations begins, we find such simultaneous visits … this is natural.”
He expressed happiness over resolution of Gulf crisis saying,“Turkey wants to improve its relations with all countries of the region despite existence of controversial issues.” He further said:“Qatar contributes to improving relations between Turkey and the rest of the region. We thank them for this.”
He rebutted the image“being promoted through media about failure of Turkey's economy” terming it“false and baseless”.“The growth achieved by the Turkish economy worldwide in the past months is very high … the volume of Turkish exports is also rising constantly.”
The Turkish Foreign Minister warned that inviting the Syrian regime to attend the Arab League summit or any other international meeting without a radical solution to the crisis would“embolden the regime to continue its brutality and aggression”.
He said that the focus should be on political solution (in Syria) because it was the only way of achieving stability in Syria.
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