Saudi king calls Turkish president ahead of G-20 summit

SourceArab Weekly
CountrySaudi Arabia

RIYADH – Saudi state news agency SPA reported late on Friday that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss bilateral relations and coordinate efforts within G20 summit, which taking place on November 21 and 22 in the kingdom. The Turkish president is due to address the summit via video link today. Early on Saturday, the Turkish Presidency said Erdogan and King Salman agreed in a phone call to “improve bilateral ties” and solve outstanding disputes through dialogue. “President Erdogan and King Salman agreed to keep channels of dialogue open to improve bilateral ties and overcome issues,” the Turkish presidency said in a statement. The Saudi news agency said briefly that, “The bilateral relations between the two countries were also discussed.” — Divergent paths — It remains to be seen if and how bilateral ties would improve in the future.

Some analysts have speculated that the phone call was less a reflection of improved ties than an necessity of protocol considerations as Erdogan was to address a meeting chaired by the Saudi monarch. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been at odds for some years over foreign policy orientations and strategic differences. Ankara has tried to posture as the defender of more...