[Dr. Saad Al-Faqih:] A lot of people have commented on Turkey’s statements about Khashoggi, but the beautiful thing about this, which I would like to add is that when Erdogan stated that the Crown Prince (of Saudi Arabia) and the Foreign Minister and the Saudi officials are all lying, and that they never told anything true at all, and that all their statements are lies, this is a provocation. True, it has not reached the level of incriminating Mohammed Bin Salman, but just this statement is a provocation towards MBS, and not a mild provocation. It’s a major provocation.
[Dr. Saad Al-Fageeh]: Isn’t the opening of embassies in Damascus and the Arab countries rushing back there a legitimization of (Bashshar) Al-Assad? If so, why is Saudi Arabia taking part in these efforts when this is going to strengthen Iran? Well, Saudi Arabia hasn’t yet opened its embassy there, but it’s on its way to doing that. Also, the Saudis have ordered their media to go easy on the Syrian regime. In fact, even the visit by (Sudan’s) Al-Bashir to Syria was orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, according to our sources. There are two explanations for this.
The first explanation is that this is to give a justification for the US troops withdrawal from Syria, as if the Syrian conflict has been resolved. The so-called jihadi groups would be wiped out, while the (Syrian) regime would be given recognition. The second explanation is that they are disturbed by the Turkish influence, and they fear that if they were to abandon Al-Assad, Turkey will expand. Their antagonism towards Turkey has become stronger than their antagonism towards Iran. Their hostility towards Turkey has intensified. “Let Iran expand its influence, but not Turkey.” Their reasoning is that Iran will be contained by the US and Israel. “Whereas Turkey, we don’t know what it could do in the future.” Hence, according to this second possible explanation, there is behind-the-scenes coordination with Israel going on.
[Dr. Sa’ad Al-Faqih] A question in the same context: Is Turkey capable of resisting Saudi Arabia and the UAE economically? [Answer] What is it that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have so that they can cause any trouble for Turkey? They tried, by buying a bank, and that’s it, and this can’t be done repeatedly. You can’t buy a bank everyday. Buying a bank is extremely costly. You buy a bank just so you can buy the (Turkish) Lira, and then you suddenly sell the Lira. That’s extremely costly.
On the contrary, this has blown back in Saudi Arabia and UAE’s faces. No. The Turkish economy is a comprehensive one, with manufacturing and a complete cycle. There’s industrial, agricultural and services production. There’s technology as well as heavy industries, and a comprehensive infrastructure. This is what differentiates Turkey, like the other advanced nations which have comprehensive and self-reliant economies. Even if the value of the Lira goes down, it benefits from the lower value of the Lira by expanding exports, i.e., its exports would be cheaper for foreign markets, and tourism would be cheaper domestically. It will attract more tourists, and it will attract more importers of its goods. Yes, it will be affected, in terms of the goods that it imports, but it will balance out.
This is why I mentioned the example of the UK, where Brexit caused the pound to lose 1/5th of its value or more, 1/4th of its value, i.e. 25%. It wasn’t affected by that, because it has a comprehensive and self-reliant economy. Yes, the price of the products that are imported into the UK became higher, but the products that are exported were in a much better position. The production of exported goods experienced a boom because they gained a larger share of foreign markets.