Cyprus FM met with Saudi King as Turkey continues provocations in eastern Mediterranean

Cyprus foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides met on Sunday with Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The men discussed “regional and international issues of common concern” according to a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency.

The meeting however comes at a time where both countries are at their wits end over perceived Turkish ‘adventurism’ in the region.

Ankara has upped the stakes by announcing it would be sending troops to fight in Libya, it has already launched an incursion into northern Syria where it is openly fighting the YPG, a Kurdish militia that was essential in defeating Daesh.

Gas exploration
Another issue of rising concern is the exploration of gas reserves in the Meditteranean with all bordering countries in a race to lay their claim on profitable gas reservoires.

Cyprus has aligned itself with Greece, Israel and Italy in planning an ambitious 2,000-kilometre (1,250-mile) eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline to Europe despite Turkey’s hostility to the deal.

The moves come amid growing tensions with Turkey over its activities in the region, with Ankara expanding its claims over a large gas-rich area which Cyprus says includes its territorial waters.

It has also joined forces with Greece, Israel, Egypt and France in condemning a maritime and security accord that Turkey signed with Libya’s UN-recognised government.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well, have criticised Turkish adventurism in the region.

Turkey has close ties with Qatar who both back the Muslim Brotherhood which is deemed an extremist group and outlawed in many Arab countries.