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Qatar's emir to meet Turkey's President Erdogan

Turkey's leader has been a major supporter of Doha since June 5 when a Saudi-led bloc cut ties and blockaded Qatar.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will visit Turkey on Thursday to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his first trip abroad since the start of the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

Sheikh Tamim will hold talks on "bilateral ties and regional issues as well as international developments", Turkey's presidential office said in a statement.

Erdogan has been a major supporter of Doha since June 5, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt cut ties and blockaded Qatar, accusing it of backing "extremism" and fostering ties with their rival Iran.

Qatar vehemently denies the accusations.

Erdogan has strongly spoken out against the sanctions applied by the four countries.

In a show of solidarity, Turkey has also sent cargo ships and hundreds of planes loaded with food to break the blockade.

Ankara has a military base in Qatar and deployed more troops after the hostilities erupted. The closure of the Turkish base was one of 13 conditions demanded by the Saudi-led bloc.

After visiting Turkey, Qatar's leader will visit Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


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