President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in İstanbul to discuss military cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria.
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Erdoğan hosted Al Thani at the Mabeyn Kiosk in İstanbul on Friday. National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak also attended the meeting. Turkey and Qatar discussed strategic and military issues related to the Syrian crisis such as the Islamic military alliance, in which 34 nations, including Turkey and Qatar, agreed to a coordinated fight against terrorism in mid-December.
The last meeting between the two leaders, who have often held talks in recent years, took place in Qatar in December 2015. The Haberdar news portal reported in December that Erdoğan had paid nine official visits to the Gulf country since 2008.
In a press statement, the Office of the Presidency said after Erdoğan’s December visit that Turkey and Qatar had signed 15 agreements, including the “Protocol on Education and Training of the Gendarmerie,” the “Memorandum of Understanding between BOTAŞ [the Turkish Pipeline Corporation] and Qatar Petroleum on Cooperation on Natural Gas” and the “Protocol on TÜBİTAK [the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey] and the Qatar Foundation on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.”
Erdoğan also announced after his visit late last year that the two countries had agreed to abolish visa requirements. According to the Turkish Contractors Association (TMB), Turkish construction companies were responsible for 324 projects abroad in 2014, worth $27 billion in total. Qatar was ranked fourth in the total value of Turkish projects abroad last year at $2.7 billion.
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