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Major steps taken to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia, says Turkish FM

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ANKARA: Important steps are ongoing to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

“We didn’t have a negative attitude towards Saudi Arabia in terms of normalizing relations, either commercially, economically, or politically,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told state media in a televised interview.

Underlining those steps are being taken to revive ties between the two countries, he said: “I can say that concrete steps will be taken on this issue in the coming period.”

Cavusoglu added that progress had been made in cooperation between the two countries’ judicial institutions, despite a previous lack of constructiveness on the Saudi side.

Trade ties between Ankara and Riyadh have seen a drop in recent years due to political tensions, but both countries are now seeking to revive those ties to help strengthen their respective economies.

In July 2021, Mevlut Cavusoglu met his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, describing it as “a fruitful meeting”. In August, Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish presidential spokesperson, announced some positive developments in relations.

By relaunching their relations, both the Saudis and the Turks could strengthen ties across the Middle East, bringing an end to the regional fatigue of the last decade.

It could also help both countries develop their connections in the sector of military technology. Saudis are the world’s third-biggest spender on military expenditures according to 2018 numbers and Turkey has a growing and vibrant defense industry, producing its own indigenous drones among other things.

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