‘Better days ahead for Turkish-Saudi ties’: Leading parliamentarian

‘Better days ahead for Turkish-Saudi ties’: Leading parliamentarian

DUBAI (RAHNUMA): Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Turkey will usher in a new era of bilateral relations, leaving behind the two nations’ “worst days,” a leading parliamentarian told Arab News on Wednesday.

This is the view of Halil Ozcan, chairperson of the Turkish-Saudi Friendship Committee for the last four parliamentary terms. “We left behind the worst days of our bilateral relationship. After the April visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both countries committed to improve their ties by leaving aside the past and turning a new page in their relations,” he said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

Ozcan, who defined Saudi Arabia as a “brother country,” said Turkey was seeking to renew its previous strategic cooperation and partnerships in several fields, including security and joint counter-terrorism efforts.

“We hope that serious concrete steps in the economic, military and defense areas will be taken in the near term as a compensation (for) past years, and the visit of the crown prince will hopefully lead to broad agreements in these areas,” he said.

Ozcan graduated from King Saud University’s Islamic studies department, and also served as a teacher in Saudi Arabia. He is also the founder of the Arabic Language Center in Sanliurfa, his hometown, where Turkey’s Arab population is predominantly concentrated.

“Turkey and KSA are both important countries in their regions. Any strategic partnership will contribute a lot to … regional stability, and Turkey is always open to mediate … any regional conflict,” the lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party said.

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