Regional issues on the agenda for Erdoğan’s Qatar visit

January 25, 2013, Friday/ 16:39:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is scheduled to visit Qatar on Jan. 29, is expected to have talks with senior Qatari officials on the recent developments in the Middle East.

The Prime Ministry's press office stated in a release that during his one-day visit to the capital of Doha, Erdoğan will have a meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

The Syrian crisis, including the problems that Syrian refugees are experiencing as well as assistance from the international community, the Israeli-Palestinian issue and Egypt's efforts for development and prosperity will top the agenda for the talks.

Erdoğan and the Qatari officials will assess the joint steps to be taken to help Syrians fleeing the ongoing civil war in their country and seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

In the first six months of 2013, humanitarian agencies appealed for $1 billion of international assistance for Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. Ankara has received $33 million in aid so far.

During the meeting, both sides will also review bilateral relations between Turkey and Qatar and will discuss opportunities to boost cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, energy and culture. It is also noted that Erdoğan might have a surprise meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

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