Saudi-Turkey relations hit one of their lowest points due to the Arab uprisings and the regional shock of the Gulf crisis. The tension resulted from, and in turn exacerbated, a process of securitization of Saudi discourse, whereby officials labeled Turkey as a threat. But after three and a half years of the Gulf crisis, the Al-Ula accords allowed reconciliation among the regional states and opened the way for the construction of new understandings based on diplomacy, tolerance of differences on regional and domestic security, and respect of sovereignty. This spurred Saudi policy makers to de-securitize their discourse concerning Turkey—that is, to talk of it not as a threat, but as a potential partner. This process continues to develop gradually through cooperation on economics and investment, but it has required time to re-establish confidence among Saudi decision makers. This article analyzes the discourses of Saudi leaders and policy makers and shows how this affected Saudi Arabia's relations with Turkey, both negatively and positively.
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