No obstacle for Erdoğan to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed: Turkish FM

No obstacle for Erdoğan to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed: Turkish FM

ANKARA
No obstacle for Erdoğan to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed: Turkish FM

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can meet with the Saudi crown prince if the former requests so, Turkish foreign minister said on Nov. 23.

Following the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month, Mohammed bin Salman -- who will attend the G20 summit in Argentina on Nov. 30 -- has expressed his will to meet Erdoğan and has previously told the Turkish president himself of his request over the phone, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told news channel CNN Türk.

"Of course, there's no reason not to meet bin Salman. Of course, it is up to our president," he said.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After weeks of shifting explanations, Saudi Arabia suggested Khashoggi was killed during a botched rendition operation by rogue agents.

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U.S. President Donald Trump intended to turn a "blind eye" to the killing, Çavuşoğlu added, referring to Trump’s continued support for Saudi Arabia, which has committed to billions of dollars in US weapons contracts.

"This is not the right approach. Money is not everything... We shouldn't abandon our humanitarian values," he said.

Mogherini's comments 'out of line'

Çavuşoğlu also said that Turkey objects to a recent ruling of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which demands the release of former co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş .

In November 2016, Demirtaş along with 12 HDP lawmakers, were arrested on terror-related charges. Demirtaş remains in custody pending trial.

Turkey-EU hold ‘constructive’ political dialogue meeting
Turkey-EU hold ‘constructive’ political dialogue meeting

Around a dozen HDP lawmakers are currently in prison pending trial for terrorism-related offenses after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in May 2016.

Turkey's government has said the HDP had links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

Çavuşoğlu criticised the comments from the European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as "out of line" after she took Turkey to task at a news conference on Nov. 22 over detentions of journalists and academics. She had also said she hoped that Demirtaş would be released soon.

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Jamal Khashoggi, Selahattin Demirtaş, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu