Türkiye-Saudi Relations

A New Era and a Broader Horizon

The Turkish-Saudi relations are still below the required level, particularly in view of the economic potential and the available avenues for broader economic cooperation between the two countries. At present, the two countries will focus on bilateral trade, regional developments, investment, and energy projects.

In these areas, the two countries can take serious steps to evaluate investment opportunities in defence, health, renewable energy, mining, petrochemicals, construction, banking, and finance sectors.

In addition to this, Saudi Arabia can sign an agreement of defence industries with Türkiye, which will open the door for joint cooperation in the production of weapons and military equipment.

The impact of the close cooperation between Ankara and Riyadh will be beyond that. It will also reflect positively on the entire region, as they together constitute a major economic, political and geostrategic power.

If came together, the two countries can contribute to boost the stability in the Middle East region. They can help in achieving strategic consensus between Türkiye, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt, on their issues of contentions, particularly about Libya.

The Turkish-Saudi rapprochement will also help develop relations between Türkiye and other Gulf countries, including Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. This will lead to enhancing their trade with Türkiye.

The two countries can play their natural role as a strategic power in the Middle East, capable of influencing as well as applying pressure on regional and international issues.

[Sharifah Akinji in Anadolu Agency]

The visit of Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, to Ankara is seen as Türkiye’s return to its Arab and Islamic environs after a period of tension in their relations. Prince Mohammad bin Salman went to Türkiye after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was a first step towards correcting the course in the policy of the Turkish government.

President Erdogan’s visit heralded the beginning of a new era in relations, as Erdogan himself described it in his tweet by saying: “The doors will open to a new era with the friendly and brotherly Kingdom. We, as two fraternal countries, are connected with each other historically, culturally and as humans. We are working hard to strengthen all kinds of political, military, and economic relations, and starting a new era between us.”

President Erdogan’s efforts to turn the page on the dispute with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were part of regional efforts which started from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The latest initiatives taken by Türkiye were just the beginning of preparation of papers for a serious joint dialogue.

The Turkish rapprochement started only after it went through the phase of deteriorating economy and weakening of Turkish Lira.  But whatever are the causes; Türkiye’s return to the policy of “zero problems” with its Arab and Islamic environs is an important step. Because, at the end, Türkiye is an important and key Islamic state of the region.

[Jebril Elabidi in Asharq Al-Awsat]

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