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Erdogan tests waters in Riyadh

Diplomats argue that Erdogan’s Saudi Arabia visit is an attempt to regain some of the regional clout Turkey has lost in the Middle East.
Saudi new King Salman (C) speaks with Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef (L) as they walk to greet US President Barack Obama (unseen) and First Lady Michelle Obama (unseen) at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on January 27, 2015. Obama landed in Saudi Arabia to shore up ties with new King Salman and offer condolences after the death of his predecessor Abdullah. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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A month after attending the funeral of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was back in Riyadh this week holding talks with new King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud on regional issues in what diplomats are interpreting as an effort by Ankara to regain some of the regional clout it lost in recent years.

Erdogan’s visit follows his recent remark that “he could care less” about Turkey’s regional isolation, which his chief foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin has dubbed “precious loneliness,” arguing that it is based on Turkey’s ethical stance on regional issues.

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