Qatar held joint military exercises with Turkish troops on Monday, Qatari media reported, showcasing their strategic alliance two months into a boycott by Arab neighbours which accuse Doha of supporting terrorism.

The manoeuvres are aimed at preparing Qatar’s armed forces to defend “vital economic, strategic and infrastructure facilities,” state-owned newspaper Al Sharq reported.

Turkey’s parliament fast-tracked legislation on June 7 to allow hundreds of troops to be deployed to a military base in Qatar, set up as part of an agreement signed in 2014, in a show of support for Qatar, which is also home to the biggest US air base in the region.

Ankara has said it will deploy 3,000 ground troops at the base to serve as a venue for joint training exercises and to support anti-terrorism efforts.

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