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Intel: Why Turkey’s transfer of Muslim bloc leadership to Saudis was so uncomfortable

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses for a group photo with Secretary General of OIC Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC1A8B4279E0

When two adversaries bump into each other, a common solution is to avoid interaction. But that wasn’t an option for Turkish and Saudi officials this week as Ankara turned over leadership of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to its rival in an unusually frosty handoff.

Why it matters: Heads of state and the governments of dozens of OIC members are attending the 14th summit of the organization in Mecca today. Turkey, however, is being represented by its foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu.

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