Turkey Spurns Demands, Says Troops Will Stay in Qatar

Erdogan Demand for Qatar to Expel Troops Violates Sovereignty

While Saudi Arabia’s list of 13 demands for Qatar is mostly the same as their rejected 10 demands from a couple of weeks prior, they included some very specific additions. One of the most noteworthy was a demand for Qatar to expel Turkey from a military base on the Qatari Peninsula.

Qatar’s not likely to accept the demands at any rate, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today sought to get out in front of that and reject the demands, saying that the suggestion violated Qatar’s sovereignty, and that Turkey had no intention of abandoning their base.

Turkey is very ideologically close to Qatar, and has been supportive of them during the blockade. The deployment of Turkish troops into Qatar during the blockade was meant to bolster Qatar while other neighbors were cutting ties. No one seemed to have trouble with Turkey’s troops being there initially, but Egypt particularly has loudly condemned Turkey for supporting Qatar, and suggested a blockade against Turkey too.

While Turkey is too economically powerful to practically try to organize a blockade against, trying to get Qatar to expel them does seem to have been inserted into the demands primarily to spite Erdogan. The inclusion of an anti-Turkey move is potentially risky, however, as Erdogan doesn’t intend to leave, and the US can’t possibly endorse the demands if they include expelling a NATO member nation from a military base in a country that the US also has a base in.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.