Saudi rejects offer of Turkish military base amid Qatar spat

The rejection came after Turkish President Recep Erdogan reportedly offered to build a base in the country similar to a facility in Qatar



Saudi Arabia has rejected an offer to establish a Turkish military base in the kingdom following Turkey’s pro-Qatari stance in the current Gulf diplomatic rift.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted an official source was stressing the kingdom “can not allow Turkey to establish military bases on its territories”.

The rejection came after Turkish President Recep Erdogan reportedly offered to build a base in the country similar to a facility in Qatar.

Work on the Qatar base has been fast tracked following the diplomatic spat between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours Saudi, the UAE and Bahrain.

The two countries first signed a military protocol for the base in 2015 and it currently hosts 100 soldiers with the capacity for up to 5,000.

However, the Turkish parliament pushed ahead with a bill to expand its presence in the Gulf country following the dispute, in which Turkey has emerged as a Qatari ally.

The country has stepped in to provide fresh diary products to Doha after traditional supply lines from the UAE and Saudi Arabia were cut.

Plans for the base reportedly include an expanded infantry force, followed by the deployment of a naval force and even F16 fighter jets in the future.

The SPA source said there was “no need” for a base as the country’s armed forces and military capabilities are “at the best level”.

They also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s efforts in combating terrorism abroad including at the Incirlik base in Turkey.