Talks with Riyadh to open door to new era: Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he believes his talks with top Saudi officials will open the door to a new era in bilateral ties, particularly in the fields of economy, trade, finance, health, energy and defense industries.
Erdoğan held meetings with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman late on April 28, in his first visit to Saudi Arabia since 2017, in a bid to mend the ruined ties due to the brutal killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the premises of Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
The visit came around three weeks after a Turkish court transferred the Khashoggi case to Saudi legal institutions. Erdoğan was accompanied by a large delegation, including ministers and senior officials.
After the talks, Erdoğan said on Twitter: “We believe that it is in our common interest to increase our cooperation with Saudi Arabia in areas such as health, energy, food safety, agricultural technologies, defense industry and finance.”
Recalling that he paid the visit upon the invitation of King Salman, Erdoğan stressed that both nations were in an effort to start a new era in ties by upgrading the level of political, economic and military ties as two brotherly countries.
There is a serious potential for cooperation in the field of renewable and clean energy technologies, Erdoğan said, repeating the importance Ankara attaches to the stability and security of the Gulf countries and their people. “We underline the importance we pay to the cooperation against terrorism as we denounce all sorts of terror,” he noted.
Saudi state news agency SPA published images of the Turkish leader shaking hands with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler, who U.S. intelligence officials determined approved the plot against Khashoggi - something Riyadh denies.
The pair “reviewed the Saudi-Turkish relations and ways to develop them in all fields,” SPA reported.
Pictures published by Turkish state media also showed a separate sit-down with King Salman, the crown prince’s father.
Prior to flying from Istanbul to Saudi’s second city Jeddah, where some roads were lined with Turkish and Saudi flags, Erdoğan said he hoped “to launch a new era” in bilateral ties.
“We believe enhancing cooperation in areas including defense and finance is in our mutual interest,” Erdoğan said.
Over the past year, Ankara has embarked on a diplomatic push to reset relations with countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia after years of antagonism following the 2011 Arab Spring. Turkey’s support for popular movements linked to the Muslim Brotherhood initially spurred the break with Arab regimes.