Story: Turkiye president on Saudi Arabia visit; 29-04-2022;
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on Saudi Arabia’s visit now after his successful visit to another gulf country UAE.
The visit came as a big ice breaker between the two countries after 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which saw both countries in a spat with each other. The trip would help re-establish friendly ties between the former allies, the trip of Turkish president is first since the 2018 incident.
Turkiye currently facing an unofficial Saudi boycott of Turkish imports, imposed in 2020 amid the Khashoggi standoff. The boycott cut Turkish imports to the kingdom by 98%.
The trip is significant as it is a key move by Turkish President Erdogan to strengthen and put relations back on the healthy track with gulf countries, which are oil rich and could help the struggling Turkish economy with vital financial support, currently Turkey is facing an economic crisis fuelled by the collapse of its currency and soaring inflation.
Turkey wants Saudi Arabia to join an existing currency swap network currently worth $28 billion that already involves China, South Korea, Qatar and the UAE. It also eyes investments and contracts similar to those inked with Abu Dhabi, officials say.
The Turkish president met KSA's crown prince bin Salman (MBS) on Thursday in Jeddah and both of the top leaders seem to have forget the bitter sorrow of past and are trying to built a new road map for the friendly mutual relationship with one another.
Both leaders met in an official ceremony in the al-Salam palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to Turkish presidency's statement.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, attended the ceremony before having a one-on-one meeting with Erdogan, Ankara's communication office Tweeted.
Saudi state news agency SPA published images of the Turkish leader embracing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and the pair “reviewed the Saudi-Turkish relations and ways to develop them in all fields,” SPA reported.
Khashoggi was killed in Turkiye in 2018 and last of his video appearance was seen him going into the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October 2018. His body have never been found.
While evidence conformed that he was killed in Turkiye, this met with Erdogan uttering harsh words against the brutal killing and this eventually led to the worsening of the ties between Saudi and Turkiye.
Bin Salman was accused of planning journalist Khashoggi's murder, according to US intelligence officials, which something Riyadh denies.
Erdogan did met with his counterpart the Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz in Jeddah. Pictures published by Turkish state media showed both the leaders sitting together.
Erdogan's visit, which his office said was at the invitation of the Saudi king.
Tayyip Erdogan also performed Umrah (a religious pilgrimage) in Masjid al-Haram (the Great Mosque) in the holy city of Mecca on his trip to kingdom.
Erdogan was received at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah by Mecca Governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal, while both later had a sit-up chat as well.
The Turkiye President Erdogan said he hoped “to launch a new era” in bilateral ties, before flying from Istanbul to Saudi’s second city Jeddah. “We believe enhancing cooperation in areas including defence and finance is in our mutual interest,” Erdogan said.
Earlier this year the Turkish president did visited other Gulf countries including UAE and gave bilateral ties much need new life, while authorising and signing deals worth billions, between them.
The strategy seems to be working just fine for the Turkiye as these vital ease-up in ties would surely help strengthen the country both economically and regionally.