Turkey expels Saudi intelligence over diplomatic rift: source

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Published Friday, November 1, 2013

Ankara plans to shut Saudi intelligence offices in Turkey following a series of diplomatic disputes over the conflicts in Syria and Egypt, a well-placed Turkish source told Al-Akhbar.

The Saudi intelligence presence in Turkey is mainly there to provide support and training for armed groups fighting in Syria.

According to the source, Turkish authorities believe Saudi Arabia's position on Syria is no longer in line with Turkey's interests, as Ankara is reportedly trying to ease tensions with Tehran and Damascus.

The historic alliance between Saudi Arabia and Turkey began to crumble following the Saudi-sponsored military overthrow of Egypt's Islamist president Mohammed Mursi on July 3.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly denounced the Egyptian coup and the military crackdown on Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood party.

But the tipping point came when Riyadh attempted to diminish Turkey's influence over the opposition Syrian National Council and the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the source said.

Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal allegedly told his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglo that Turkey would no longer play a role in the Syrian conflict even if the regime were to fall, and asked Ankara not to interfere in Egypt's political crisis.

According to the source, Turkish officials believe Saudi Arabia, along with Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, are strategically working against the interests of two different regional blocs: Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and Iraq on one front, and Turkey, Qatar, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood on the other.

The Turkish source added that Saudi Arabia had attempted to disrupt a prisoner swap deal that saw the release of the nine Lebanese pilgrims held in northern Syria in exchange for two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Beirut.



Turkey has always been perceived by Saudi Arabia as an enemy.
First Turkey is the most powerful Sunni country in the region in terms of military, population and industrial power. With a president who wants to take over the leadership of the Sunnis in the region, it represent a major competition to Saudi Arabia.
Secondly Turkey is a staunch support of the Moslem Brotherhood, officially recognized as a threat to the GCC family-led regimes.
Thirdly, Turkey has had a strong influence on Qatar that made it move away from the GCC's unity.
Fourtly Turkey enjoy a harmonious relation with Shia Iran, another staunch enemy of Saudi Arabia
Fifthly Turkey is proposing a 'westernized' Islam that appeals to the Arab youth. Saudi Arabia fears this influence.
With all these reasons, more incidents that leads to breaking of the relation between the two countries are not surprising

God bless democracy.

In all this play of power struggle, where do American interests lie? At a time when the rules of play are extremely dynamic with results that are unpredictable in the region and Russia overtly extending her influence into the region, can America afford to lose two or one of her most valuable allies in the Middle East namely Qatar and Saudi Arabia? Qatar and Saudi Arabia who massively sponsored and spear headed the instabilities and insecurity in Syria for over 25 months, are now at logger heads over the Egyptian question.

I think the ousting of Mursi in Egypt has been a blessing in disguise for Syria and the entire region. At last sanity is finally returning the region, Turkey and Qatar who were greatly contributing to the thriving of the insurgency by way of funding, training and any other form of facilitation of the insurgent forces inside Syria have stopped. This implies the insurgents could soon be running out of supplies and the most logical option would be to surrender to government forces or flee to safety.

The million Euro question is where does the “Egyptian Question” leave the three protagonists of the region- Qatar, US and Saudi Arabia? Will the US succeed in reconciling the two big ego boys-Saudi and Qatar as their rift puts American interests in the region at stake? At least Qatar woke up from the bad dream to cut her losses. The faster Saudi rises from her dream already shattered the better for her. But she has lost badly, the over 1000 insurgent groups it has sponsored for that long to topple Assad are increasingly facing a steep mountain. Only diplomacy can solve the Syrian question NOT arming the opposition and mercenary foreign forces namely Alqaeda.

The world knows that Saudi Arabia sponsors terrorism around the world. The world is now shifting from Saudi and the gulf countries. For so long they dominated the world because of oil that nature gave them for free.

Thausands if not millions have lost their lives because of the gulf countries policy and disregard to human life. The gulf countries are full of corruption and crulity to their own people. Thausands are dying in Syria and Libya as a result of power struggle between the gulf countries and Turkey, Turkey``s support of terrorists in Syria will difinately backfire.

Good and blessed riddance from the demented kingdom

Great news for peace in Syria if it's true.

The Saudis are displaying a level of diplomatic ineptness which comes from decades of getting their own way by bulldozing problems with money. Now the strategic stakes are higher, they're finding throwing money at the problem doesn't always work any longer.

It's one thing pushing at an open door with an oil dependent West, by buying vast quantities of military equipment it doesn't know how to use in order to guarantee protection from the likes of Saddam and Ahmadinijad. It's a different deal altogether when it comes to Putin or an energy self-sufficient US, or a Turkey which has slowly realised that backing al qeada is a dumb move, and still wants free trade with Europe.

As Assad slowly gets the upper hand, and Saudi get increasingly ignored, they might well try some further dumb stunt, like causing more problems in Lebanon, or encouraging al qeada, in order to show the world how important they still are.

Frankly, as the world's most hypocritical regime (and society), we'd be better off as a planet if the House of Saud became less and less relevant. .

It was only a matter of time. Turkey now has a big problem with terrorists both in Syria and at home. Bandar will turn them loose ...

Good ridden from a demented kingdom

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