Visiting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan together with Emir Sheikh Tammim Bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar co-presided over the first meeting of the two countries’ Supreme Strategic Committee which ended with the signing of 15 agreements and memorandum of understanding, but excluding a last minute agreement for a visa-free travel between the two States.
Turkey and Qatar agreed to cooperate in several sectors and concluded a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) agreement. Erdogan didn’t rule out “a possible LNG storage investment or other steps with Qatar, as a result of obvious developments regarding Turkey.”
56% of Turkey’s natural gas supply in 2013 came from Russia and the current tension in relations between Ankara and Moscow could be forcing Turkey to diversify its sources of energy supply.
The two sides also discussed the possibility to establish Turkey’s first military base in the Gulf in Qatar.
President Erdogan was quoted by Turkish Daily Sabah saying that “some of our soldiers, who will be deployed at a military base to be established in Qatar, have started their duties” after the first joint military drill between the Turkish and Qatari armies.
Discussions between the two heads of state centered on “all issues of concern” according to the Qatari Emir who acknowledged that ties between his country and Turkey are “developing, not only on political, economic and military levels but also on higher level strategic co-ordination.” He added that they share “constant and identical” views on regional issues.
For Erdogan, “Turkey and Qatar are marching towards the future with a steady pace.”