Ankara, Riyadh to set up 'strategic cooperation council'

Turkey and Saudi Arabia agree to set up 'strategic cooperation council' to consolidate military, economic and investment cooperation

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir (R) attend a joint press conference after their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 29, 2015.

Updated Dec 30, 2015

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have agreed to establish a "strategic cooperation council” to develop military, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday.

"The meeting produced a desire to set up a high-level strategic cooperation council between the two countries," Jubeir told reporters during a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, following a meeting between Saudi King Abdullah and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Jubeir said the council will focus on improving security, military, economic, trade, energy and investment cooperation between the two countries. 

In recent years the ties between the two countries have shown significant improvement.

After the spread of the DAESH terror threat in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Turkey agreed to form an Islamic military coalition with 32 other Muslim countries to fight against terrorism on December 15.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are moving together on the Syrian crisis in particular and agree on the necessity of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad leaving power.

Both countries also support the unity of the opposition in Syria and have criticised ongoing Russian air strikes targeting opposition groups rather than DAESH.

Saudi Foreign Minister said in a news conference with his Turkish counterpart that the killing of prominent Syrian rebel leader Zahran Alloush in a Russian air attack does not contribute the peace process in Syria.

"We believe that assassinating Zahran Alloush or fighting leaders that supported a peaceful solution and are fighting DAESH in Syria does not serve the peace process in Syria," Jubeir said.

Zahran Alloush, who was the former leader of the powerful opposition group Jaysh al-Islam (Islam Army), was reported to have been killed last Friday after Russian warplanes fired missiles at one of the group’s headquarters in the Al-Marj area of the rebel-held eastern Ghouta region. 

TRTWorld and agencies