Dr. Anwar Bin Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who headed the UAE delegation at the emergency meeting of the Arab Foreign Ministers held at the General Secretariat of the Arab League in Cairo. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai:  Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, on Saturday condemned the presence of Turkish troops in Qatar, saying that it contributes to “negative polarisation” in the region.

In a tweet minister said “The Turkish military presence in the Arab Gulf is an emergency, and it contributes to negative polarisation in the region,” adding "It is the decision of ruling elites in the two countries that reinforces the policy of polarisation and axes and does not take into account the sovereignty of states and the interests of the Gulf and its peoples, so our region does not need regional garrisons and reproduce colonial relations dating back to a previous era.”

The UAE and its Arab allies have imposed a boycott on Qatar since mid-2017 and had demanded that Doha close a Turkish military base, among their conditions for ending the rift.

Gargash tweets came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on Thursday, after a visit to Qatar that Turkey's military presence in Qatar is to ensure peace in the region and should not be a cause for alarm “The presence of Turkish troops in Qatar is to ensure peace and stability not only for Qatar but also for the Gulf region,” Erdogan told Turkish state broadcaster TRT.

Turkey signed a security agreement with Qatar in 2015 and started sending troops there in June 2017.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, along with Egypt, announced a boycott of Doha because of its interference in their internal affairs and its support for terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.