Turkey, Qatar pacts expected from Erdogan visit, no plan to seek Doha assistance

DOHA: Doha and Ankara are set to sign dozens of agreements during Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Qatar on Monday but Turkey had no plans to ask for financial assistance, the two countries’ foreign ministers said.

At a news briefing on Monday with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Qatar’s Foreign Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the Gulf state was looking at opportunities emerging from Turkey’s economic challenges.

Turkey is grappling with high inflation and a currency crisis following a series of interest rate cuts. Erdogan is expected to arrive in Qatar later on Monday, state media said.

Separately, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) is also due to visit Doha this week, on Wednesday, though the Qatari minister said the timing of the two visits was a coincidence.

Qatar’s Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar was set to sign dozens of agreements with Turkey and in “heavily investing in Turkey.” He said the Gulf state was looking forward to opportunities that may emerge from the talks.

Cavusoglu said Turkey had no plans to ask Doha for financial assistance.

“We didn’t come to Qatar to ask them to send any specific (amount of) money, we are here only to discuss improving our ties,” Cavusoglu said.

A Gulf official with knowledge of the Saudi prince’s visit said there had been discussions to set up a meeting between Erdogan and the prince in Qatar during the week, though details were being discussed and it was not yet confirmed.

It would be the first direct meeting between the two leaders after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Saudi Arabia imposed last year an unofficial boycott on Turkish imports, as political tensions spilled into trade between the two regional powers.