Saudi Crown Prince Visits Turkey As Countries Normalize Ties

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is scheduled to reach in Ankara on Wednesday, making his first go to to Turkey as the 2 regional heavyweights press forward with efforts to restore ties following the slaying of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

The crown prince will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the final leg of a Center East tour that additionally took him to Egypt and Jordan. His go to comes earlier than U.S. President Joe Biden’s journey to the area subsequent month.

Erdogan mentioned talks with the prince, who is often referred to by his initials MBS, would concentrate on advancing Turkish-Saudi relations to a “a lot larger diploma.” Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia in April, paying his first go to to the dominion since 2017, a yr earlier than the grotesque killing of Khashoggi by Saudi brokers within the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Turkey’s efforts to enhance ties with Saudi Arabia comes as Turkey faces its worst financial disaster in twenty years and is attempting to attract investments from rich Gulf Arab states. Turkey has additionally taken steps to enhance relations with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Israel.

Talks with the UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan late final yr led to funding offers price $10 billion after years of regional rivalry.

Saudi Arabia for its half, has been attempting to broaden its alliances at a time when relations between Riyadh and Washington are strained. The crown prince additionally seeks to place an finish to the scandal over Khashoggi’s killing that broken his fame.

Learn extra: Right here’s Why the U.S. Didn’t Sanction Mohammed bin Salman for His Position within the Jamal Khashoggi Killing

Turkey had opened a trial in absentia towards 26 Saudis suspected in Khashoggi’s killing, however the court docket earlier this yr dominated to halt the proceedings and switch the case to Saudi Arabia, paving the best way for the nations’ rapprochement.

The killing of Khashoggi had sparked international outrage and put stress on the prince, who was mentioned to have authorized the operation to kill or seize Khashoggi, in response to a U.S. intelligence evaluation. The prince has denied any data of the operation that was carried out by brokers who labored instantly for him.

Whereas by no means naming Prince Mohammed, Erdogan mentioned the operation that killed Khashoggi was ordered by the “highest ranges” of the Saudi authorities.

Khashoggi had entered the consulate in October 2018 by appointment to acquire papers to permit him to wed his Turkish fiancée, who waited for him outdoors. He by no means emerged and his physique was by no means discovered.

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