Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during his official visit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2017. Photo by Turkish Presidency via Anadolu Images

Turkey-Saudi Normalization: A Larger Regional Bloc at the Door?

Now or later, Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s resuming realist and pragmatic politics could bring about broader regional implications.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a businessperson whose business had been affected by the informal Saudi boycott of Turkish products, “They expect me in February. They made a promise and I will pay a visit to Saudi Arabia in February.” This visit to Saudi Arabia marks the first one in seven years – the last being in 2015.

Thanks to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Al Ula agreement in January 2021, there is now room for optimism manifested in the constructive moves by both Turkish and Arab leaders toward a broader normalization process. On many occasions and during Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s visit to Turkey last month, President Erdoğan has indicated Turkey’s willingness to repair ties with Egypt and the Gulf states.

President Erdogan told journalists upon his return flight from Abu Dhabi, “We are continuing our positive dialogue with Saudi Arabia. We want to continue by taking concrete steps in the coming period. We want to develop the process in a positive direction.” It is expected that it might take a few weeks to one or two months to address topics that have not been revealed.

Read more: Turkey-Saudi Normalization: A Larger Regional Bloc at the Door?

[Politics Today, February 21, 2022]

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