Call for peace with Egypt 'only disagreement' with Riyadh: Erdogan

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Mar 2015

Erdogan's meeting with Saudi's king came one day after a similar meeting between Egypt's El-Sisi and the new monarch

Erdogan and Salman
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Saudi King Salman, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2 March 2015 (Photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia wants Turkey to make peace with Egypt, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Turkish Hürriyet newspaper after his visit to the oil-rich Kingdom, describing it as "the only disagreement" between Ankara and Riyadh.

Egypt and Turkey have been at odds since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, with Ankara describing the country's political transition as a "coup."

During his three-day visit to the Kingdom, Erdogan met with King Salman Ben Abdel-Aziz, a meeting that came one day after a similar encounter between Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Saudi's new monarch.

Saudi Arabia "wants Turkey to make up with Egypt at a high-level,” Erdogan told the daily Hürriyet on his way back to Ankara, "but there is no insistence," he added.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have showered Egypt with billions of dollars in aid to help the latter bolster its ailing economy after Morsi's ouster. The wealthy Gulf nations share with Cairo the same anti-Muslim Brotherhood stance.

But after the late King Abduallah's death, reports of a change in the Saudi approach towards Egypt aroused, suggesting a potential dwindling of financial support to Cairo from its main ally: Riyadh.

“This trio (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) is made up of the most important countries in the region. There are duties falling to all of us for the peace and welfare of the region. If all countries realise what falls to them, I believe we will yield results more easily,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.

Erdogan, who told Hürriyet he conveyed Turkey's reservations towards Egypt's government to King Salman, share the same stance on “almost all the countries at the region,” except for Egypt.

“The real important issue for us is elevating Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations to a better level. The Egypt issue shouldn’t cast a shadow on our relations with Saudi Arabia," Erdogan said.

“Despite some differences about Egypt, they are not at the level that could affect our bilateral relations,” he added.

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