Turkey wants to mend ties with Saudi Arabia: spokesperson

Turkey wants to mend ties with Saudi Arabia: Erdogan spokesperson
2 min read
27 April, 2021
Turkey is seeking better ties with Saudi Arabia after recent fall outs.
Kalin said that Turkey wants to improve ties with Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Turkey's presidential spokesperson said his country is seeking better ties with Saudi Arabia after a recent breakdown in relations between the two countries.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesperson, Ibrahim Kalin, told Reuters that Ankara was seeking broader ties with Riyadh which soured after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

"We will seek ways to repair the relationship with a more positive agenda with Saudi Arabia as well," he said.

Kalin said that Turkey was also happy with the legal process in the kingdom, which saw a group of Saudi officials blamed for the murder of Khashoggi sentenced by a court to between seven and 20 years in jail. 

"They had a court. Trials have been held," he said. "They made a decision so we respect that decision."

Khashoggi's killing led to a diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Riyadh, leading to a boycott of Turkish goods in Saudi Arabia.

Trade between Turkey and Saudi Arabia fell by 98 percent after the boycott, which Riyadh insists was unofficial, with Kalin urging Riyadh to lift the embargo.

Turkey has been split with other Arab countries, mostly due to Ankara's influence in the region.

Ties with Egypt broke down after a military coup led by now President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi led to the overthrow of the country's first democratically-elected government.

The two countries have also been at loggerheads over support for opposing sides in Libya, with Ankara providing key military assistance to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

Turkey and Egypt have recently attempted to mend ties after years of rancour.

"Given the realities on the ground I think it's in the interests of both countries and the region to normalise relations with Egypt," Kalin said.

This has also extended to finding a solution to the Libya civil war, where both countries have played key roles.

"Given the realities on the ground I think it's in the interests of both countries and the region to normalise relations with Egypt," Kalin said.

"Rapprochement with Egypt... will certainly help the security situation in Libya because we fully understand that Egypt has a long border with Libya and that may sometimes pose a security threat for Egypt."

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