Erdogan expresses complete solidarity with Saudi Arabia
Cii Radio| Sabera Sheik Essop| 04 October 2016| 02 Muharram 1437
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is upbeat about Turkey’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, conducted at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Friday and aired on Rotana Khalejia TV channel on Sunday night, Erdogan said he has had a detailed discussion with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif on a number of issues during the Saudi leader’s landmark visit to Turkey.
“I met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Our meeting was very brief, but we said that we would meet in Turkey,” he said. “I met His Royal Highness in Ankara on Friday and we found an opportunity to discuss in detail bilateral relations in addition to the latest developments in the region.”
Referring to the conferment of the highest Turkish civilian award to the crown prince, Erdogan said: “We enjoyed the opportunity to award His Royal Highness the Order of the Republic of Turkey. This is an important symbol of the extent of the ties between the brotherly Turkish and Saudi peoples as well as the ties between our two countries.”
He expressed complete solidarity with Saudi Arabia and appreciated Saudi Arabia’s firm support during the coup attempt in Turkey.
“During our meeting, we talked about the relations between the two countries. And, of course, we talked about the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15. We were very happy with the firm position of Saudi Arabia at that time. We have expressed our pleasure and gratitude to the Kingdom,” he said.
He described US Congress’ decision on JASTA as unfortunate. “We expressed our sorrow and regret. I also mentioned this matter and our feelings when I met US Vice President Joe Biden in the US.
“You cannot criminalize an entire country because this violates the sovereign immunity. Of course, in the future we do not know what procedures will be taken, but we have taken necessary steps in this matter as we preside over the current session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“The Turkish minister of foreign affairs and the minister of justice, under my direct instructions, will take the necessary measures and make efforts to stand by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to correct this grave mistake.”
Erdogan said the Islamic world was facing brazen attacks. “Saudi Arabia and Turkey are targeted. If you look at the developments in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Tunisia, these developments cannot be left aside nor can the developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan … They are all related. In fact, we find intrigues and plots being encouraged against the Islamic world, and so the countries of the Islamic world must stand in solidarity,” he said.
Responding to a question about articles by some Saudi intellectuals expressing fears about Turkey’s expansionist aspirations in the region, Erdogan said: “When I hear such things, it just makes me laugh or smile. Turkey does not have any such goals.”
Speaking about the post-coup scenario in Turkey, Erdogan said: “Those who engineered the coup are well known to us. Undoubtedly, it is the Gulenist terror organization. In fact, it is no different from other terrorist organizations. The Gulenist Organization is even more dangerous as they were planning to seize control of the state and its major institutions.”
Source : Arab News