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AA 08/10/20: Turkey's troops in Qatar serve stable Gulf: Erdogan

'No one except for those making plans of chaos should be disturbed by Turkish presence in Gulf,' says Turkish president.

Turkey's military presence in Qatar serves the stability and peace not only for Qatar but the whole Gulf region, the Turkish president said.

"No one except for those making plans of chaos should be disturbed by Turkey and the Turkish military presence in the Gulf," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview published in The Peninsula on Thursday, the day after his working visit to the Gulf country.

Speaking to Khalid Mubarak Al-Shafi, editor-in-chief of the Qatari daily, he called the Turkey-Qatar Combined Joint Force Command “a symbol of brotherhood, friendship, solidarity between the two countries,” adding those who run ill-propaganda on the base are not well-intentioned.

Touching on Turkey's position in Syria, Erdogan reiterated that the country has no design on anyone's territory and is never permanent in the civil war-torn country. "When the crisis is permanently resolved, our presence in Syria will come to an end."

With nearly 911 kilometers (566 miles) border with Syria, Turkey is one of the countries that most affected by the conflict that began in 2011, he said and stressed that no state would allow a terrorist organization to remain across its borders.

"Thanks to the efforts exerted by Turkey and the Free Syrian Army, stability and peace have been restored in regions once associated with terrorism, cruelty and oppression," he said, adding so far over 400,000 refugees returned home.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).

Responding to a question on Turkey-US relations, Erdogan said Turkey will continue to work together with the US in all platforms, including NATO, on such issues as fighting against terrorism, democracy and termination of conflicts.

"Although we have taken separate positions with the United States on various issues from time to time, we have placed great importance on not undermining the strategic partnership between us," he said, however pointing out the strained Turkish-US relations for a number of reasons such as Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missiles and counter-terrorism operations in northern Syria against the YPG/PKK, a terror group the US has supported as an enemy of Daesh/ISIS, and the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, the ringleader of the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.


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