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Turkish Deputy PM: Relations with Saudi Arabia Have Been Strengthened and are Not Limited to the Syrian Issue | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish deputy PM

The Turkish Deputy Prime minister and government spokesman Numan Kurtulmuş said that Turkish – Saudi Arabian relations have been strengthened during the reign of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and that common approaches shared by the two countries are not limited to the issue of Syria and extend to other issues too.

Kurtulmuş added in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that Turkey and Saudi Arabia “do not have a common agenda for military intervention in Syria” and pointed out that the two countries have a common vision with regards to what is happening there and are standing together in support of the Syrian people’s aspirations. The Turkish deputy prime minister continued by saying that the Syrian war has reached his country’s borders and it is now necessary to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

On the other hand, Kurtulmuş announced an end to dialogue with the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan and the end of the peace process with the party which calls for Kurdish self-government in Turkey. He added that “Turkey’s priority is to stop terrorism” and that it “has chosen a new partner for peace; the people themselves”.

Kurtulmuş also stressed that the Turkish government rejects all projects to partition Syria and said that his country’s priority is the survival of a united Syria within the framework of a democratic system. He continued by saying that the Syrian people should have the last word on the fate of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and denounced him. Kurtulmuş also alluded to the possibility of Assad staying in power for a specific period after which he would leave with his regime.