Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan plans to go to Saudi Arabia on Thursday and meet Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, two sources with info on the matter advised Reuters, as Ankara tries to fix ties with Riyadh after dropping a authorized case on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
Relations have been tense since a Saudi hit crew killed Khashoggi on the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in 2018. On the time, Erdogan and his authorities had accused senior Saudi officers, together with Prince Mohammed, of being concerned within the homicide and of hindering a authorized course of.
Ankara’s feedback then, which got here amid widespread world outcry, prompted an unofficial Saudi boycott of Turkish merchandise. Ankara has since sharply toned down its rhetoric towards Riyadh, and has gone so far as saying there are not any bilateral points between the 2 regional powers.
As a part of a regional allure offensive launched in 2020 amid rising isolation, Ankara has made overtures to fix ties with a number of international locations, together with Egypt, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. It has additionally approached many Gulf states for financial assist because it faces hovering inflation and a surge in power costs following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Final month, Riyadh requested that Ankara hand over the case of Khashoggi’s homicide, which was ongoing in Turkey. This month, Ankara accepted the request, halted the case and despatched it to Riyadh.
“There can be a gathering with MbS in the course of the go to to Saudi Arabia,” one of many sources, a senior Turkish official, stated on situation of anonymity, utilizing the broadly recognized acronym for Prince Mohammed’s identify. “Many points, from economic system, investments, regional points, abandoning the troubled occasions in bilateral ties can be mentioned.
“It’s anticipated to be an environment friendly assembly for each side,” the official stated.
If realised, the assembly would be the end result of months of efforts by Ankara to restore ties, because it seeks to alleviate rising financial woes.