Qatar's emir is scheduled to tour a number of Latin American countries as Doha seeks new alliances in the face of the Gulf blockade. Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani will begin his tour of Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay on Monday, the emirate's official news agency QNA said on Saturday, without specifying the duration of the trip. The emir is expected to meet the presidents of these nations to "discuss ways of strengthening relations and bilateral cooperation in various fields". Doha has been working on building new alliances ever since a diplomatic crisis broke out in June 2017, pitting it against a regional bloc led by Saudi Arabia. Abdullah al-Athbah, editor-in-chief of Doha-based Al-Arab newspaper, said Qatar seeks to bolster its economic ties with Latin America as part of its 2030 vision, which aims to create a sustainable and modern Qatar in the next 10 years.
It broke the political impasse in Lebanon by persuading the Sunni-led Lebanese government and the opposition Hezbollah to sign the May 2008 Doha Agreement; it mediated the conflict between the Yemeni government and Houthis in February 2008 (though it failed subsequently to find a permanent solution to the conflict); and, in February 2010, it facilitated a ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese government and the opposition Justice and Equality Movement.
Six countries including the main Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations met in New York City for the first time since a rift led to a blockade on Qatar 15 months ago. Friday's meeting took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, and was the first gathering of its kind since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017. The blockading quartet accuse Qatar of having close ties to regional rival Iran and harbouring "terrorism" - allegations Doha strongly denies. Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from New York, said the move was "quite significant" since it was the first time all parties met face to face over the issue. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spearheaded the talks.
The third meeting of Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee kicked off in Istanbul on Tuesday. Al Jazeera examines the strategic relationship binding the two countries. In an extraordinary session on June 7, Turkey's parliament ratified two 2014 deals allowing Turkish troops to be deployed in Qatar and another approving an accord between the two countries on military training cooperation. The agreements aimed to raise Qatar's defence capabilities, supporting "counter-terror" efforts and maintaining security and stability in the region. Five armoured vehicles and 23 military Turkish military personnel arrived in Doha on June 18 with plans to increase the number of troops to 3,000 and keep a brigade in the Gulf country.