Erdoğan meets Saudi crown prince in Ankara
As Saudi Arabia and Türkiye press ahead with efforts to repair ties that were strained by Khashoggi’s killing, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met the crown prince on the last leg of a Middle East tour that also took him to Egypt and Jordan.
Erdoğan said talks with Prince Mohammed, who is commonly referred to by his initials MBS, focused on advancing Turkish-Saudi relations to a “much higher degree.” Erdoğan visited Saudi Arabia in April, paying his first visit to the kingdom since 2017, a year before the gruesome killing of Khashoggi by Saudi agents inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.
Türkiye opened a trial in absentia against 26 Saudis suspected in Khashoggi’s killing, but the court earlier this year ruled to halt the proceedings and transfer the case to Saudi Arabia, paving the way for the countries’ rapprochement.
Khashoggi entered the consulate in October 2018 by appointment to obtain papers to allow him to wed his Turkish fiancee, who waited for him outside. He never emerged and his body was never found.
Prince Mohammed’s Middle East trip comes before U.S. President Joe Biden’s scheduled trip to the region next month. Biden is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia at the tail end of his July 13-16 trip that includes stops in Israel and the occupied West Bank.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt received bin Salman in Cairo on June 20. Saudi and Egyptian companies signed agreements worth a total of $7.7 billion during the visit. The deals were related to “infrastructure, logistical services, port management, agri-foods, the pharmaceutical industry, fossil fuels and renewable energy, and cybersecurity” and were worth $7.7 billion, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram said.
“Fourteen investment agreements worth more than 29 billion riyals [$7.7 billion] were signed between a group of leading Saudi companies in various economic activities and several Egyptian companies and authorities,” Saudi state-run Al-Ekhbariya said.