Saudi Crown Prince meets Erdogan in Turkey
ANKARA (Reuters) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is on an official visit to Turkey on Wednesday, where he is to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to push forward the normalization of relations between the two countries, which have been strained by the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
The Turkish president visited Saudi Arabia in April after months of talks between the two regional powers that led to the halt of the Khashoggi trial in Istanbul and his transfer to Saudi Arabia.
On this occasion, he met Mohamed ben Salman to discuss, among other things, the possibility of Saudi investments likely to support the Turkish economy, which has been greatly weakened by the fall of the pound and inflation that exceeds 70%.
Last week, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday’s talks would focus on ways to take relations between the two countries “to a much higher level”.
The visit of “MBS” aims to achieve “full normalization and a return to the pre-crisis period”, a senior Turkish official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters. “A new era is about to begin.”
Agreements on energy, economy and security must be signed during the visit of MBS, he specified.
After the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi by a group of Saudi agents in the compound of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan then questioned “the highest levels” of Saudi power.
Ankara has today ceased all criticism of the kingdom. The halting of the Khashoggi case trial in Istanbul has been criticized by Turkish human rights groups and opposition parties, who have denounced dishonorable bargaining motivated by the need for financial support.
On Tuesday, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the main opposition movement, said Erdogan would “kiss the man who ordered the assassination” of Khashoggi.
Mohamed bin Salman has always denied any involvement in this murder.
(Report Orhan Coskun and Tuvan Gumrukcu, French version Marc Angrand, edited by Kate Entringer)