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Turkish Troops Hold Exercises in Qatar

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shake hands with Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani (L) as they meet at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey on March 12, 2015. (Photo by Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Qatar held joint military exercises with Turkish troops on Monday, Qatari media reported, showcasing their strategic alliance two months into a boycott by Arab neighbors which accuse Doha of supporting terrorism.

The manoeuvres are aimed at preparing Qatar’s armed forces to defend “vital economic, strategic and infrastructure facilities,” state-owned newspaper Al-Sharq reported.

Turkey’s parliament fast-tracked legislation on June 7 to allow hundreds of troops to be deployed to a military base in Qatar, set up as part of an agreement signed in 2014, in a show of support for Qatar, which is also home to the biggest U.S. air base in the region.

Turkey stood by Qatar after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut off diplomatic ties and transport links.

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