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Turkey Says It ‘Respects’ Court Decision Regarding Khashoggi

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Turkey is looking to repair relations with Saudi Arabia, Erdogan’s spokesman and adviser Ibrahim Kalin said Monday.

Trade between the two countries has dropped by 98% since last year, following an unofficial boycott of Turkish goods by businesses in the Kingdom in response to what they called hostility from Ankara.

Expressing hope the boycott could be lifted, Kalin said: “We will seek ways to repair the relationship with a more positive agenda with Saudi Arabia as well.”

Kalin also said the Turkish presidency welcomed the trial in Saudi Arabia which last year jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“They had a court. Trials have been held,” Kalin said. “They made a decision so we respect that decision.”

Kalin’s comments to Reuters came ahead of talks between Turkey and Egypt next week, which Ankara hopes will forge renewed cooperation between the two countries.

Relations have been strained since Egypt’s army ousted in 2013 Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, who was close to Turkey.

Recently, however, Turkey has begun working to rebuild ties with Egypt and other Gulf states, trying to overcome differences which have left Ankara increasingly isolated in the Arab world.

Intelligence chiefs as well as foreign ministers of both countries have been in contact, and a Turkish diplomatic mission will visit Egypt in early May, Kalin said.

“Given the realities on the ground I think it’s in the interests of both countries and the region to normalise relations with Egypt,” he said.

In a gesture to Cairo last month, Turkey asked Egyptian opposition television channels operating on its territory to moderate criticism of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Egypt welcomed the move but has been publicly cautious about Turkish calls for better ties between the two countries which have also supported rival sides in Libya’s conflict.

“Rapprochement with Egypt…will certainly help the security situation in Libya because we fully understand that Egypt has a long border with Libya and that may sometimes pose a security threat for Egypt,” Kalin said.

He said Turkey would discuss security in Libya, where a UN-backed transitional government took over last month, with Egypt and other countries.

But despite a UN call for all foreign forces to leave the country, he indicated that Turkish military officers and allied Syrian fighters would be staying.

“We have an agreement that is still holding there with the Libyan government,” he said, refering to a 2019 accord which paved the way for decisive Turkish intervention in support of the Tripoli-based government.

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Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

One thought on “Turkey Says It ‘Respects’ Court Decision Regarding Khashoggi

  • April 27, 2021 at 8:17 am
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    Turkey, ostensibly a NATO country but with economic and military ties to both China and Russia, is now attempting to find a pathway back into the good graces of official Washington. Turkey also occupies extensive areas of northern Syria, where it has strong relations with an array of terrorist jihadist groups. In fact, its history with these groups goes back at least a decade. Yet, within the last few years, Turkey has deprecated Saudi Arabia for crimes that it now claims that the Riyadh government is coming to terms with. Meanwhile, Ankara seeks a rapprochement with Israel, while at the same time, it threatens closer relations with both Iran and Pakistan. Turkey has also sent thousands of its jihadist partners to fight in Libya, and has also engaged with these militias by dispatching them to Azerbaijan in its recent war in the Nagorno-Karabakh. – The 27th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted to the UN Security Council concerning Islamic State, al-Qaeda and associated groups states: “The Idlib de-escalation zone remains important to ISIS as a limited safe haven”. Of course, the Idlib zone of Syria remains an all important gateway into, and out of, Turkey. Sunni loyalists aligned with Turkey have been accused of a myriad of war crimes and severe human rights violations within the zone including: executions, kidnappings, rape, looting and forced population transfers. According to an October 15, 2019 report compiled by the AP, “Turkish extremist proxies vowed to kill ‘pigs’ and ‘infidels’, paraded their Kurdish captives in front of cameras and, in one graphic video, fired several rounds into a man laying on the side of a highway with his hands bound behind his back”. Amnesty International reports, based on similar witness testimony from October 12-16, 2019: “How Turkish forces have displayed a disregard for civilian life, including summary killings and unlawful acts that have killed and injured civilians”. The Turkish regime has been erratic for at least a decade. Within that time, it has gone from a policy of “zero problems with its neighbors”, to a complete 180 degree turnabout. In the process, the Turkish economy has been broken as inflation and unemployment have both risen dramatically. Now Erdogan seeks a foreign policy redress. Egypt and the moderate Arab states should remain skeptical. So should Israel and the US. The recent declaration by the Biden administration concerning the 1915 Turkish genocide against its Armenian population was very long overdue. Now Ankara is threatening some sort of retribution against Washington. Instead of facing up to its past, Turkey continues to deny historical reality. Turkey has also long been the home for Hamas’ leaders in their quest to defeat and destroy Israel. A good barometer for Turkish moderation would be to send Hamas packing, as Ankara then, attempts to align itself with with the nations of the Abraham Accords. That way, Turkey’s neighbors (and Washington) will know which way the Erdogan wind is really blowing.

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