Turkey, Qatar vow to boost strategic cooperation in broad areas

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ISTANBUL, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani pledged on Monday to boost bilateral strategic cooperation in a wide range of fields, Turkish media said.

Agreements on transportation, trade, economy and culture were signed during the fourth meeting of the Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee in Istanbul.

Speaking at the meeting, Erdogan described Turkey and Qatar as each other's friends during "hard days," according to the state-run TRT broadcaster.

In June last year, Turkey stood behind Qatar after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Doha and jointly imposed a trade, land and air traffic embargo against the nation.

"The Turkish nation has made intense efforts to prevent the blockade and sanctions against our Qatari brothers," Erdogan was quoted as saying.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Qatari emir for his support and solidarity during recent months when the Turkish lira declined sharply against the U.S. dollar.

Al Thani, for his part, voiced his determination to boost cooperation with Ankara in every field.

Turkey's exports to Qatar increased by 93 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of this year, according to press reports.

The Sabah daily reported that Turkish contractors initiated 137 projects in Qatar this year, worth 14.8 billion U.S. dollars, while Qatar's investments in Turkey have surpassed 20 billion dollars. Enditem

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