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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Deals Between Turkey and S. Arabia Please Both Sides

The visit to Turkey of the first Saudi monarch in 40 years is being hailed a turning point in improving relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia

Turkey and Saudi Arabia signed a number of deals that are expected to pave the way for greater economic and political cooperation between the two countries.

Precautionary measures have been adopted to prevent “arbitrary” practices in relation to investments and an agreement was reached to conduct regular political negotiations.

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Suud held contacts with top level Turkish statesmen during his 22-hour visit to Ankara, before traveling to Istanbul for further contacts.

The talks reportedly focusing on economic relations were met with a suggestion by the Saudi King to conduct “more bilateral trading.”

Details have been released about six deals signed between Turkish and Saudi delegates.

An agreement similar to those signed with many countries to bolster economic relations has also been signed between Turkey and Saudi Kingdom.

The agreement included measures against possible obstacles likely to occur in the future.

“Likely-to-happen arbitrary policies, including nationalization of ventures, will be prevented through the signing of this agreement,” diplomatic sources informed reporters.

Other deals contained modifications to certain issues that have long been an object of disagreement between the two countries.

These include: Turkish transporters will no longer have to wait at the Saudi border.

Doctor exchange will be enabled between the two countries.

Saudi researchers will be permitted to access Ottoman archives in Turkey more conveniently to research the history of Saudi Arabia, once part of the Ottoman Empire.

Saudi and Turkish diplomats will hold regular talks to discuss issues relating to the two countries, focusing on regional problems in particular.

During the King’s talks with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both parties stressed they share similar policies regarding regional issues.

King supports Turkey on Cyprus issue

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met with his Saudi counterpart Prince Suud al-Faisal to discuss regional issues affecting both countries, in particular the current Lebanese crisis.

During their talks, Sezer and the King expressed similar views on securing a UN-backed immediate cease-fire in Lebanon, resolving the Palestinian problem swiftly, preventing further clashes in Iraq, and the denuclearization of the Middle East.

The King stressed “Common faith and history make relations between the two countries special, and common attitudes create a strong platform for cooperation.”

Ankara asked the King to invest more in Turkey and support the lifting of isolations imposed on Turkish Cypriots.

The King openly offered his support to Turkish Cypriots.

King invites Erdogan to Saudi Arabia

Erdogan hosted an official dinner Wednesday night in honor of the King at Dolmabahce Palace.

Erdogan capitalized on regional developments and improving relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia during the dinner, attended by ministers, businessmen, and journalists.

Erdogan stressed the Lebanese crisis should be resolved through diplomacy, and asked Saudi investors to cooperate more with Turkish investors.

The King said he is aware of Turkey’s strategic importance between the West and East, and invited Erdogan to Saudi Arabia, thanking Ankara for its impressive hospitality.

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