Cyprus relations and Riyadh’s message


The expansion of Saudi Arabia’s relations with Cyprus is a clear message to Turkey, which is trying to extend its influence in the region and the Muslim world by attempting to bring back to life the Ottoman era which ended with World War I.

Turkey is seeking success through the Muslim Brotherhood concept of abolishing the borders between countries and instituting the ideas of governance of the Brotherhood in their attempt to control the Islamic world and beyond.

It is only natural that Saudi Arabia should strengthen its relations with the countries of this strategic region, given the obstacles that Turkey is attempting to place in the path of those countries wishing to develop a healthy relationship with the Kingdom.

Riyadh has in particular chosen to strengthen relations with Cyprus, whose sovereignty and legitimacy it already supports within the framework of the UN and Security Council resolutions. Cyprus has a strategic location along with substantial investment opportunities for Saudis. Moreover, it is linked to the Arab world by a long history of communication and mutual benefit.

The visit of Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf to Cyprus does not imply any hostility to Turkey, even though Turkey continues to target the Kingdom’s leadership and people.

The Saudi approach to strengthening relations with Cyprus has been well thought out. The Cypriot president visited the Kingdom in January 2018, at which time two agreements were signed between the two countries. Al-Assaf’s recent visit to Nicosia complemented the decisions taken by the two sides during the Cypriot president’s visit to Riyadh.

Strengthening cooperation with Cyprus will open the door to Saudi tourism in the third largest Mediterranean island with a history of more than 6,000 years. Also, Cyprus’ strategic location offers excellent investment opportunities for Saudis.

Of course, the door will remain open to re-energize relations with Turkey once its leaders come to their senses and abandon the practice of stabbing neighbor countries in the back along with attempts to influence, dominate and threaten the Muslim world with Muslim Brotherhood gangs, and when they stop interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, as is the case with Turkey in Libya, Sudan, Qatar, northern Syria and others.

— The author is a Saudi writer. Follow him on Twitter: @JameelAlTheyabi