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ISTANBUL – Turkey's president says he will not pull Turkish troops from their base in Qatar, rejecting a demand by major Arab states that it do so to end the ongoing crisis with the small Gulf country.
Speaking Sunday after Eid prayers in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the demand "disrespectful." He said Turkey would not seek permission from others when making its defense cooperation agreements.
The Turkish parliament ratified a 2014 agreement with Qatar earlier this month, allowing the deployment of troops to its base there.
The president said the 13-point demand list by Arab states, already rejected by Qatar, contradicted international law.
Erdogan said Turkey would continue to support Qatar against the many sanctions it has faced. He says "we see an attack against a state's sovereignty rights."