Current Affairs Middle East

Saudi King Calls Erdogan, Extends Hand Despite Everything

Written by Shoaib

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin AbdulAziz phoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in an astonishing move to reconciliation after a shaky few years between the two nations. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties before the upcoming G20 summit according to both Turkish and Saudi sources.

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Saudi Arabia assumed the Presidency of the G20 this year, with the aim to be on uniting the world against the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring the distribution of food, vaccines and clean water throughout the world.

When King Salman called President Erdoğan, he discussed his desire to put differences aside and resolve any long standing disagreements through dialogue. The two leaders also agreed to improve bilateral ties between the two nations and agreed to keep direct channels of dialogue open between them.

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Riyadh and Ankara had differing positions on the conflicts in Syria and Lebanon causing the countries to drift apart. The rhetoric of President Erdoğan’s infamous fiery speeches has been directed at gulf nations and at times has taken aim at Saudi Arabia and its leaders.

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When false news stories recently spread on social media that the Saudi government was boycotting Turkish goods, some had hoped the countries would continue to diverge.

King Salman ordered urgent aid be sent to Turkey after the country was rocked by an earthquake earlier this month, putting to rest any rumour or idea that Saudi Arabia was taking a retaliatory hostile stance towards Turkey.

King Salman and the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman have not publicly responded to President Erdoğan’s attacks against them. King Salman’s step of calling President Erdoğan seems to be a mature response aimed at deescalating tensions and will likely move the countries closer to friendlier relations.

Turkey needs allies going forward

King Salman’s phone call could not have come at a better time for President Erdoğan. A video showing US President-elect Joe Biden attacking Erdoğan didn’t sit well with the Turkish government. The video showed Biden saying he would attempt to remove President Erdoğan from power by empowering the opposition.

King Salman ordered the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) to rush to Turkey’s aid when they suffered a devastating earthquake earlier this month. Established in 2015, KSRelief has contributed over $4.7 Billion to humanitarian causes.

Before the Trump administration oversaw the UAE-Israel peace deal, Turkey was the only Muslim country to trade with Israel. The deal would see Israel investing Billions of dollars in the UAE, diversifying their investments in Turkey.

President Erdoğan recalled the Turkish ambassadors in the UAE in response to the deal, but did not recall their ambassadors in Israel. To overcome the challenges faced by possible US interference in the country, Turkey will need allies going forward. The time for fiery speeches and harsh rhetoric is over and the need for Muslim unity has become ever greater.

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About the author


CEO of | Director of the Organisation for the Conservation of Islamic Heritage | President of | Editor Muslim World Journal | Pharmacist | You can find me on Instagram and Facebook

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