The recently ascended to power, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, shared some hard words against Turkey in a recent interview to an Egyptian newspaper.
Prince Salman described Turkey as part of a ‘triangle of evil’ along with Iran and hardline extremist groups according to a report published on Wednesday by Egypt’s Al Shorouk newspaper.
The prince also accused Turkey of trying to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate which was abolished almost a century ago when the Ottoman Empire collapsed.
These recent comments by Prince Salman demonstrate the mistrust that Saudi Arabia has of President Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling party has its roots in Islamist politics and who has allied his country with Qatar in its dispute with Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states.
In the past, Turkey has also worked with Iran, which is Saudi Arabia’s arch-enemy in the Middle East, to try to reduce fighting in northern Syria. For this purpose, Iranian and Turkish military chiefs also exchanged visits last year.
Prince Salman visited Cairo on his first foreign trip since he became heir of Saudi Arabia last year.
While talking about the dispute with Qatar, he said that it could be long-lasting, comparing it to the US embargo of Cuba imposed 60 years ago, but played down its impact, dismissing the Gulf emirate as “smaller than a Cairo street”.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar last June, suspending air and shipping routes with the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which is home to the region’s biggest US military base.