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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is welcomed by Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha, Qatar, July 24, 2017. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace (Turkey)/Handout via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

ANKARA (Reuters) - Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will hold talks in Ankara on Thursday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, an ally of Doha in its dispute with Gulf Arab neighbours.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar three months ago, suspending air and shipping routes with the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

They say Qatar supports regional foe Iran and Islamists. Qatar denies the charges and says the economic boycott aims at neutering an independent foreign policy it says promotes peaceful regional reform and fighting terrorism.

Last month Turkey held joint military exercises with Qatari forces in the Gulf state. It has said it will deploy 3,000 troops at a military base there and has increased trade with Qatar since the start of the embargo.

Turkey's presidency announced Sheikh Tamim's trip in a statement on Wednesday but gave no details of the talks, which will coincide with a visit to Ankara by the prime minister of Kuwait, which has sought to mediate in the Gulf Arab dispute.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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Reuters