* Qatar-Turkey relations forged by fire
The meeting between His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Doha on Thursday reaffirms the distinguished relations between Qatar and Turkey and the keenness of their leaders to further develop these ties.
President Erdogan's visit to Qatar assumes significance as it is his first official trip outside his country following the outbreak of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, and in light of the regional and international developments.
His Highness the Amir and the Turkish president have always been keen on maintaining co-ordination between them, discussing regional and international issues, whether through direct meetings or phone calls, the last of which was held at the end of June, when the Amir received a phone call from the Turkish president.
The last visit of President Erdogan to Doha was in November 2019, when he and the His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani presided over the fifth session of the Qatar-Turkey Supreme Strategic Committee, during which several agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed, to build on the progress achieved through the mechanisms of the Supreme Strategic Committee, including:
1. Amendments related to the arrangements for the currency-swap agreement (Qatari riyal and Turkish lira) between Qatar Central Bank and the Central Bank of Turkey.
2. An agreement on industrial and technological co-operation between the governments of Qatar and Turkey.
3. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Turkey's Presidential Finance Office.
4. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Qatar Investment Promotion Agency and Turkey's Presidential Investment Office.
5. A Memorandum of Understanding for co-operation in the field of civil planning between the governments of Qatar and Turkey.
6. A joint declaration of intent regarding the establishment of a laboratory to facilitate trade and enhance consumer protection between the Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology (QS) in Qatar and the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE) in Turkey.
7. A Memorandum of Understanding for co-operation in the field of standards between the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) in Qatar and the Turkish Standards Institute.
The two sides also confirmed their intention to expand and strengthen the legal framework for their bilateral relations.
The committee was estyablished following an agreement signed by he Amir and the Turkish President Erdogan in December 2014.
The first session of the committee, which was hosted by Doha in December 2015, set the bilateral relations between the two countries on an institutional path that guarantees to fortify the previous achievements and broadens their horizons to achieve distinction in various fields, especially economic, commercial, investment, cultural and security.
The relations between Doha and Ankara are witnessing development and diversification at all levels, and the meeting of the Amir with the Turkish president on Thursday is the culmination of those distinguished ties that are worthy of emulation.
The Turkish-Qatari relations are an integrated model for co-operation and co-ordination between partners and brothers in various political, economic, cultural, and military fields.
The relations have witnessed rapid growth since the unjust blockade was imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt on June 5, 2017.
This was represented in increasing the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, which promises a prosperous future for the bilateral relations.
On many occasions, the two countries have demonstrated that the friendship that unites them is true and solid. This was demonstrated by the two countries support for each other in difficult times, especially Turkey's efforts to end the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar, as well as Doha's strong and supportive stance towards Ankara during 2016 failed coup attempt.
Also, Doha stood firmly with Ankara during the Turkish lira crisis in 2019, when His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani visited Turkey at that time and directed to provide a package of economic projects, investments, and deposits amounting to approximately QR55bn (USD15bn) from Qatar to support of the Turkish economy.
The Qatari-Turkish relations are old, historical, based on brotherhood, understanding, and mutual respect, as well as a great legacy of history and the shared civilisation of the two brotherly people.
The embassy of Qatar in Ankara inaugurated in February 2018 the issuance of the "Qatari-Turkish joint postal stamp" on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the launch of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1973.
Ambassador of Qatar to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak al-Shafi said in a recent statement that the bilateral relations between Qatar and Turkey have always been good and marked by distinguished events.
He pointed out that the most prominent of these events was in 2014 when the Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee was established at the level of leaders, which has witnessed the 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey and Qatar's support to Ankara, and the unjust blockade on Qatar in 2017.
He considered that the Turkish position on June 5, 2017, was a result of the foregoing.
Turkey distanced itself from malicious blocs based on its principles and stood by the right and the oppressed, which is considered a brave choice that is in line with its positions and policies.
The ambassador expressed Qatar's appreciation for this stance.
The ambassador pointed out that the crises witnessed by the two countries and their support for each other led to strengthened relations, which has reflected in ties that bind the people of the two countries and the level of interaction between the leaders and the people.
He noted that Turkey remained unchanged in its position standing with Qatar against the unjust blockade, despite the great pressure it was subjected to do so.
He said that Qatar didn't hesitate to support Turkey during all the crises the latter faced, whether during the failed coup attempt or during the Turkish lira crisis in 2018.
The ambassador added that the two countries are working to further advance these relations and there is close co-ordination between the two sides on various levels and at international platforms.
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