Qatar dismisses 'illegal' demand for cutting Turkey defence ties

Qatar dismisses 'illegal' demand for cutting Turkey defence ties
Qatar's ambassador to Turkey rejects Gulf states' demands regarding Doha's military ties to Ankara, saying that no dialogue about Qatar's sovereignty will be entertained.
2 min read
20 August, 2017
Gulf states and Egypt demanded that Turkey's military base in Doha be closed [Getty]
Qatar's ambassador to Turkey has dismissed demands that Doha cut defence ties with Ankara as an "obvious intervention of internal affairs".

Salem bin Mubarak al-Shafi made the statement on Saturday in response the list of demands presented to Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE.

The demands, which were issued in July with a threat of further sanctions on Qatar, included the requirement that a Turkish military base in Doha be closed down.

"This is against all international law and norms," said Shafi in a written statement.

"The closure of this base and demanding that our defence relations with Turkey be interrupted would be an obvious intervention of our internal affairs, infringement of our sovereignty rights, and the assumption of tutelage over us."

Turkey has also rejected the demand that its base in Doha be closed.

Earlier this week, Turkey dispatched a new cargo ship filled with food supplies to Qatar to help break the economic blockade imposed by its neighbours.

Qatar's Gulf neighbours and Egypt accuse it of supporting terrorism in the Middle East - a charge that Doha has vehemently denied.

"The Qatar State is an active member in all platforms for combating terrorism politically, financially, and militarily. The same goes for the international coalition led by the US in the fight against Daesh [IS]," Shafi said, referring to the charges levelled against Qatar.

Doha has also strongly rejected sanctions imposed on it, including the closure of airspace and an economic blockade.

Speaking on the sanctions, Shafi said the demands placed on Qatar were calling into question the country's sovereignty and would not be entertained.

"We cannot enter into dialogue on our sovereignty, our independence, and anything that touches our free decision," he said.