Turkey-Saudi Arabia cooperation contributes to stability: Saudi FM

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu speaking at a joint press conference in Ankara yesterday praised Turkish-Saudi relations while his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir said, “The cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia is not only to support the interests and stability of the two countries but also regional states’ as well.”

Following the first meeting of the Turkish-Saudi Coordination Council in Ankara, Saudi Foreign Minister al-Jubeir also said ties between Ankara and Riyadh are “strategically binding.”

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have shown exemplary bilateral relations as they are two prominent Muslim countries with significant regional influence which have engaged in close cooperation on regional issues in recent years. In that framework, the first session of the Turkish-Saudi Coordination Council was held in Ankara yesterday.

While the Turkish and Saudi foreign ministers also exchanged views on regional and international matters, the two countries praised their enduring commitment to diplomacy: “Bilateral relations between the two countries have an exceptional place in history and current relations are strengthened by these historical and cultural values,” Çavuşoğlu said while adding that relations have gained a new momentum with the recently held Coordination Council meeting.

Continuing on with his remarks by underlining that the council has eight sub-working groups including “politics and diplomacy” as well as “energy,” “military” and defense industry cooperation,” Çavuşoğlu further noted that the second meeting of the council is to be held next year in Saudi Arabia while the sub-working groups are to meet more frequently.

Analogous to the Turkish foreign minister’s remarks, Saudi Minister al-Jubeir also praised the relations and said, “Turkey and Saudi Arabia are moving forward to a new period with strengthened cooperation. Our ties are highly significant in order for us to face challenges.”

Underlining that both Turkey and Saudi Arabia share a mutual perspective on counterterrorism and radicalism as well as issues related to Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, al-Jubeir provided information on the Coordination Council, saying that “49 institutions and more than 200 officials have attended the council’s meeting in Ankara.”

The Saudi foreign minister later met with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and then President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Saudi-Turkish Consensus on Iran, Hezbollah Impeding Syria Solution

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, speaking after concluding the first ever Saudi-Turkish Coordination Council meeting, called for an immediate peaceful solution for the war ravaging Syria for some six years now.

However, Jubeir stressed that any peace must be established according to the Geneva 1 conference findings that stipulate founding a transitional authority, implementing a nationwide ceasefire, and securing access for humanitarian assistance.

Jubeir said that Iranian and Hezbollah interference is the main obstacle derailing a peaceful solution for Syria.

“Our goal is to keep Syria’s unity and help the nation restore its security and stability so that the Syrian people could start a country that meets their aspirations,” Jubeir said in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

“We will cooperate with the international community to back the Syrian people and implement the Geneva 1 Conference declaration and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254. And we are hoping that the Astana talks would result in a ceasefire agreement and a mechanism for sending assistance to all Syrian areas,” he stated.

“We believe that the PKK and the PYD are terrorist organizations, and we support any endeavors to exterminate terror in any place in the world. Saudi Arabia is a founding country of the international anti-ISIS alliance,” Jubeir said.

“The Saudi Air Force is conducting regular operations over Syria to target the terrorist group’s positions. We are looking forward to cooperating with (United States) President (Donald) Trump’s administration to step up efforts in order to exterminate ISIS,” the Saudi official added.

For his part, the Turkish foreign minister confirmed the strong ties shared with the Kingdom.

“We (Saudi Arabia and Turkey) have to explain to everybody that since our relation is better, this means that we are going to take the necessary decisions properly,” Saudi state-owned news agency SPA reported Cavusoglu as saying.

“We have joint interests; so we ought to manage better coordination. The decisions we have taken in this meeting are important and we are going to benefit from future meetings,” he said.

Cavusoglu also evoked the anticipated visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to each of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in addition to other Gulf Cooperation Council countries to discuss and study all aspects of cooperation between the GCC and Turkey.