Saudi Foreign Minister says relations with Turkey 'good and amicable' in surprising remarks

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that relations with Turkey are "good and amicable," despite the fact that the two countries have been at odds over foreign policy and attitudes towards Islamist political groups.


Duvar English 

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Nov. 21 that the kingdom enjoys "good and amicable" relations with Turkey.

The minister also said that he hasn't seen any numbers that would support the existence of an informal boycott of Turkish products. 

For more than a year, some Saudi and Turkish traders have speculated that Saudi Arabia was enforcing an informal boycott of imports from Turkey.

In early October Ajlan al-Ajlan, the head of Saudi Arabia’s non-governmental Chambers of Commerce, called for a boycott of Turkish products in response to what he called continued hostility from Turkey.

Ankara has previously said that it "laughs off" the boycotts imposed on Turkish goods.

"We laugh off some countries' boycotts against Turkey. They should first learn to stand as independent countries," ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 18.

The kingdom and Turkey have been at odds for some years over foreign policy and attitudes towards Islamist political groups. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul also sharply heightened tensions.

Commenting on the rift among Gulf countries with Qatar, Prince Faisal said Riyadh was seeking a way to end a dispute with Qatar. The dispute dates from 2017 when the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar, severing diplomatic and transport ties and accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar denies allegations of supporting terrorism.

Erdoğan, Saudi king agree to solve issues through dialogue

Separately, Erdoğan and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz agreed in a phone call to improve bilateral ties and solve outstanding disputes through dialogue.

Saudi state news agency SPA reported late on Nov. 20 that the king called Erdoğan to coordinate efforts exerted within the work of the G20 summit. 

"President Erdoğan and King Salman agreed to keep channels of dialogue open to improve bilateral ties and overcome issues," the Turkish presidency said in a statement, adding the two men had also discussed the G20 summit.