The Arabs present a rejuvenation of their deceased bonds with Turks. The Kingdom seeks to buy armed drones from Turkey, reports President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since the execution of Washington Journalist Jamal Khashoggi ties between both the middle eastern nations were strained. Trade has collapsed under an informal Saudi boycott, but both countries have said they will work to improve relations.
While addressing the press, Erdogan conveyed his ire over the kingdom’s decision to conduct joint air exercises with Turkey’s longstanding rival Greece, suggesting an agreement on drones depended on Riyadh’s future conduct. Turkey has emerged as one of the world’s premier makers of armed drones, which helped ally Azerbaijan make sweeping gains in a six-week war with Armenia last year over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
A Wider Strategy- Egypt and Ankara ties
The two countries back rival sides in the Libyan conflict and in the Eastern Mediterranean. Egypt signed a maritime agreement with Greece that angered Turkey. Ankara has reiterated its intention to ease its tension with Egypt, strained since the Egyptian army toppled Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.
TPT Policy Advocacy & Recommendations
- Today the geopolitical antagonism in the Middle East revolves around three power: Shiite Iran, Sunni radical Saudi Arabia, and Sunni moderate Turkey. The rivalry is further complicated by Western states’ tactical support of Saudi Arabia and Russia’s support for Iran. The relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia has always varied between cooperation and distrust to uncertainty and rapprochement. It is apparent that the Turkish-Saudi Arabian antagonism for the leadership of the Sunni Islamic world is ongoing and will escalate further. There is also a close connection with the Sunni-Shiite conflict in the region. The two conflicts overlap with Turkey being more flexible between arch-foes Iran and Saudi Arabia.
- In fact, Ankara is closer to Iran than Saudi Arabia. Iran also views Ankara with more sympathy because of Turkey’s moderate Islam and more flexible foreign policy. Hence close Turkish-Iranian cooperation can be expected. Arabs should be prudent with the political developments of the regions. It should prejudice the sprouting relationship with Turkey as the longevity of Turkish Islamists and their diplomatic approach between the West and their Islamic orientations might be deceitful.