Qatar has close ties with Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen here being welcomed by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha on Jul 24, 2017. (Photo: AFP/Handout)

DOHA - AFP
Qatar's emir travels to crisis-hit Turkey in show of support

The emir of Qatar flew to Turkey on Wednesday (Aug 15) to meet close ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an apparent show of support as Ankara grapples with a currency crisis.

State media in Doha said Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was travelling to Turkey for a "working visit".

The emir "will discuss with the Turkish president bilateral relations and means of strengthening the existing strategic cooperation between the two countries in various fields," said a Qatar News Agency statement.

Turkey has been rocked in recent days by a sharp decline in the value of its lira after US President Donald Trump tweeted last Friday that Washington was doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Ankara.

Washington's move came during an ongoing dispute over Turkey's holding of an American pastor for two years.

In response, Erdogan has called for a boycott of US electrical goods.

The turmoil has raised fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey and prompted alarm that foreign investors in the country, including Qatar, could be hit in the fallout.

Turkey and Qatar have become close economic and political partners in recent times.

Doha has US$20 billion worth of investments in Turkey, official figures showed last month, and Ankara is now one of the top exporters to the emirate.

In recent days, Qatari supporters of Turkey have begun a public campaign in Doha to change their riyals into lira in an attempt to shore up the plunging Turkish currency.

It is believed many Qatari investors could be at risk from a Turkish economic crisis.

Turkey also maintains a small military base in Qatar.

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