May 16, 2012

Saudi Arabia & Turkey: Frenemies

Meliha Altunisik, Foreign Affairs

AP Photo

Last month, Saudi Arabia rolled out the red carpet for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The visit was yet another example of the degree to which relations between the two countries have improved in recent years. Historically, the two nations have not been friendly, with economic relations only developing in the 1970s. Turkey needed Saudi Arabia's oil. For its part, Saudi Arabia needed Turkey's huge construction sector to build its modern cities. In the 1990s, the arms-length relationship grew more distant. After the Persian Gulf War, Saudi Arabia, along with Egypt and Syria, banded together in hopes of creating a new Arab order. Damascus, no ally of Ankara at the time, was able to frame many of its narrow fights with Turkey as pan-Arab concerns. Down the Euphrates from...

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TAGGED: Saudi Arabia, Turkey

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