Turkey signs deal to boost Qatar trade

Turkey: Turkey and Qatar have signed a swap deal to facilitate trade between the two allies as the Turkish currency is battered by a deepening spat with Washington, the Turkish central bank said Monday.

The agreement was signed in Doha on Friday before the markets closed for a one-week holiday for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, it said in a statement.

“The swap agreement has been signed over Turkish lira and Qatari Riyal and concluded with an overall limit of three billion USD,” it added.

“Core objective of the agreement is to facilitate bilateral trade in respective local currencies and support financial stability of the two countries.”

Gas-rich Qatar last week promised to make a $15 billion direct investment in Turkey during a visit to Ankara by emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has thanked the emir and the people of Qatar for “standing by Turkey” while saying relations with Doha, which he described as a “friendly and brotherly country,” would be boosted in many areas.

Turkey has been rocked over the last weeks by a sharp decline in the value of its lira after US President Donald Trump announced 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 while Ankara has sharply hiked tariffs on others.

Turkey and Qatar — which is also a very close US ally — have become economic and political partners in recent times.

Erdogan’s government notably backed Doha during Saudi Arabia-led embargoes in 2017.