Key regional issues to top agenda of Saudi-Turkish talks

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim

:: Key regional issues, which have been hampering the restoration of peace and security in the Middle East will top the agenda of talks between high-ranking Saudi officials and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim here on Wednesday. But the rapidly increasing bilateral relations between the two countries have provided plenty of cause for optimism.

The talks will pave the way for renewed consultations between Riyadh and Ankara on a range of bilateral and international subjects.

“Yildirim is expected to discuss bilateral and regional developments with a special reference to the growing Saudi-Turkish relations,” said Erdogan Kok, the newly appointed Turkish ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Kok, who presented his credentials to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Sunday, told Arab News they had candid discussions on many subjects.

Referring to his talks with Al-Jubeir, the envoy said: “We took up Turkish-Saudi relations and cooperation as well as regional and international issues of common concern.”

He said the bilateral relations have been rapidly increasing in recent years. “Turkey possesses deep-rooted historical and cultural ties with Saudi Arabia and enjoys excellent relations based on friendship, mutual respect and common interests,” said a report of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The report, titled “Bilateral Political Relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” said: “Being two important countries of our immediate region and the Islamic world, Turkey and Saudi Arabia cooperate toward preserving regional peace and stability.” Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia share the political will to work closely and further deepen their relations in all fields, it added.

“As a reflection of this common political will, high-level bilateral visits have recently gained a fresh momentum,” said the statement, adding that the establishment of the Turkish-Saudi Coordination Council constitutes a significant step toward institutionalizing the multidimensional relations between Riyadh and Ankara as well as further deepening them in all fields.

On the commercial front, the strong economic and commercial cooperation between the Kingdom and Turkey constitute a major pillar of bilateral relations. By the end of 2016, the trade volume between the two countries reached $5 billion. A large number of Turkish companies, especially construction giants such as Mapa and Yuksel, are active in the Kingdom. The construction projects Turkish contractors have undertaken in Saudi Arabia since 1972 exceed $17 billion.

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