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Qatar denounces military coup attempt in Turkey

by Reuters
Saturday, 16 July 2016 08:14 GMT

(edits headline)

DOHA, July 16 (Reuters) - Qatar condemned on Saturday an attempted military coup and said the emir telephoned Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to express support for measures taken by the government to maintain stability in the country.

Turkish troops said on Friday they had seized power in the country but by morning loyalist forces had crushed the bid after crowds took to the streets to support Erdogan.

"The state of Qatar expressed its strong denunciation and condemnation of the military coup attempt, lawlessness, and violation of the constitutional legitimacy in the Republic of Turkey," Qatar's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Qatari state news agency said the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, telephoned Erdogan to "congratulate him for the support the Turkish people have shown around Turkey's leadership".

"His highness also expressed strong condemnation and denunciation of this failed attempt and Qatar's stand and solidarity with the brotherly Turkish republic in all measures it is taking to protect the constitutional legitimacy and implement the law...," it added.

The two countries have provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, backed rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and raised the alarm about what they say is creeping Iranian influence in the region.

Other Gulf Arab countries have yet to comment publicly on the coup attempt, but some have urged citizens in the country to stay home and to remain in contact with diplomatic missions.

Saudi Arabia's national carrier said on Saturday it had suspended all flights to Turkey until further notice.

In April, Turkey set up a military base in Qatar as part of a defence agreement intensifying its partnership with the Gulf state at a time of rising instability and a perceived waning of U.S. interest in the region.

One of the wealthiest countries in the world, Qatar is home to the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East, Al Udeid, where around 10,000 military personnel are stationed. (Reporting by Tom Finn, Sami Aboudi and Marwa Rashad, Editing by Alison Williams)

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