A sixth group of Turkish troops arrived at a military base in the Qatari capital of Doha to take part in joint military exercises, media reported Wednesday. 

Twenty eight artillerymen have arrived in Doha, the Anadolu Agency reported, citing sources in the Turkish Defense Ministry.

The deployment is in line with the deal between Ankara and Doha on strengthening military cooperation reached in 2015 and approved by Turkey’s parliament on June 7, 2017 against the background of diplomatic row between Qatar and other Gulf states, which included in their demands the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar.

The drills started in Qatar on June 19 when the first group of Turkish troops arrived at the military base.

In early June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates broke off diplomatic relations and communication with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Kuwait acting as a mediator in the crisis, handed over to Doha the ultimatum of the four Arab states with 13 demands, which Doha refused to comply with.

Turkey has backed Qatar in the diplomatic row. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning a diplomatic tour to the Persian Gulf on July 23-24 in order to enhance the dialogue within the framework of the Qatar diplomatic crisis settlement.

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