Feb 23 2018

Saudi FM praises Turkish “friend and ally”

The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia heaped praise on Turkey on Friday, in statements that appear to contradict speculation that the countries’ relations are in a rocky patch, according to news published by the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called Turkey “a large and important country in the region and a member of the G-20” during an address delivered at Brussels’ Egmont Institute, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Turkey is a friend and ally in a range of fields,” Anadolu Agency quoted the Saudi foreign minister as saying. “We frequently consult with Turkey on a range of issues.”

Turkey’s foreign policy has diverged with Saudi Arabia’s on a range of issues in recent years, not least the blockade on Qatar implemented by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states in June 2017.

Turkey intervened to oppose the blockade, which is still ongoing, providing Qatar with essential supplies and deploying Turkish troops. Turkey was joined in the endeavour by Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival, arousing speculation that their once-close relations would take a serious hit.