Turkey and Qatar on Friday insisted Ankara would keep a new military base in the emirate, rejecting demands from other Gulf countries for the facility to be closed.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain last month cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over what they allege is Doha’s support for extremist groups and ties to Riyadh’s regional rival, Iran.
They then issued 13 wide-ranging demands to lift a blockade placed on Qatar, including the closure of the Turkish military base in the emirate.
“No country has the right to raise the issue of the Turkish base or the military cooperation between Qatar and Turkey as long as this cooperation respects international law,” Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told reporters in Ankara.
Speaking after meeting al-Thani, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the demands to close the base “go against the two countries’ sovereignty.
“A third country has no right to say something to Qatar or Turkey. Everyone must respect this,” he added.
Cavusoglu added that until now, there had been “no objections” over the base, Turkey’s first military facility in the Gulf region.
The crisis has put Turkey in a delicate position since Qatar is its main ally in the Gulf but Ankara does not want to antagonise key regional power Saudi Arabia.
Shortly after the crisis unfolded, Ankara fast-tracked the deployment of troops at the base as part of a bilateral defence deal agreed in late 2014.