Turkish Defense Minister rejects demand to shut base in Qatar

Turkish Defense Minister rejects demand to shut base in Qatar

Ankara rejected a call from four Arab states to shut down its military base in Qatar, the country's Defense Minister Fikri Isik said, noting that the base is a guarantor of security in the Gulf.

The minister told Turkish broadcaster NTV that he had not yet seen a request for the closure of the base, but made clear Ankara had no plans to review a 2014 agreement with Qatar which led to it being set up.

"If there is such a demand, it will mean interference in bilateral ties," Isik said, suggesting instead that Turkey might continue to bolster its presence in Qatar.

"The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security. Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda," Reuters cited Isik as saying.

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