Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that his country and Qatar have supported one another in hard times, and proved to be a true friend many times.
“Turkish nation showed intense efforts to break the blockade and sanctions targeting its Qatari brothers,” Erdogan said during the 4th meeting of Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee in Istanbul.
In June of last year, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain collectively severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups.
The Saudi-led axis also imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar, with Riyadh sealing the Abu Samra border crossing linking the two Gulf states.
Erdogan added that Doha was the strongest international supporter of Turkey after the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
The meeting held at the Vahdettin Pavilion was jointly presided over by Erdogan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Erdogan also said he was proud by the level of cooperation between the two countries on the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
“[Qatar] has stood with us in front of the speculative initiatives targeting our economy in the recent months,” he said and thanked Qatar on behalf of the Turkish nation and himself.
Al-Thani, for his part, also voiced pleasure for the level of bilateral relations and expressed his will to boost cooperation in every field.
Following the meeting Turkish and Qatari ministers signed a strategic cooperation protocol in the fields including transportation, culture, trade and economy.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin were also present at the meeting along with Qatari officials.