Saudi Arabia and Turkey Must Maintain Strategic Partnership

Article/Op-Ed in Arab News
Moyan Brenn/Flickr
July 20, 2017

Oubai Shahbandar wrote an article for Arab News about the importance of Saudi Arabia and Turkey to maintain strategic partnerships:

Since Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Riyadh in 2015, bilateral trade and investment have steadily increased. Hundreds of Turkish companies operate in the Kingdom, with well over $1 billion in investments. The value of Saudi investments in Turkey is estimated at nearly $2 billion. Bilateral trade is valued at approximately $8 billion.

But the strategic bond between the two nations goes beyond commercial ties. King Salman was one of the first world leaders to voice his support to Erdogan following the failed coup attempt against him last year. Saudi Arabia also bases some of its warplanes in Turkey’s Incirlik air base as part of its participation in the international coalition to defeat Daesh.

King Salman’s visit to Turkey in April 2016 demonstrated the personal rapport between the two leaders, and underscored the common security threats they face from extremist groups, such as Daesh. Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions are also a concern for Ankara. When Erdogan visited King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in February this year, Syria and regional security were at the forefront of their discussion.