AXIS IS SO LAST SEASON, CHECK OUT THE TRIANGLE

Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has described Turkey as part of a “triangle of evil” along with Iran and hardline Islamist groups, Egypt’s Al-Shorouk newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Saudi prince also accused Turkey of trying to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate, abolished nearly a century ago when the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

His reported comments reflect Saudi Arabia’s deep suspicion of President Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling AK Party has its roots in Islamist politics and who has allied his country with Qatar in its dispute with Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states.

Turkey has also worked with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival in the Middle East, to try to reduce fighting in northern Syria in recent months, and Iranian and Turkish military chiefs exchanged visits last year.

Al-Shorouk quoted Prince Mohammed as saying “the contemporary triangle of evil comprises Iran, Turkey and extremist religious groups.”

Saudi’s future king says a lot of right things, and is starting to do some too. His ascension might really be a watershed in country’s history, but I’d rather not get too enthusiastic just yet about his liberal sincerity and prospects. The true test will be moderating and modernising own domestic brand of Islam and stopping the Wahhabi poison from infecting Islamic communities around the world, including in the West. Wahhabism is the gateway drug to Islamism and terrorism; let’s hope bin Salman can say just no. In the meantime, he is right about Turkey’s and Iran’s role in the region.

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