Erdoğan meets Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince MBS during key visit

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Thursday as the Turkish president is visiting the kingdom to restore the ties between Ankara and Riyadh.

Erdoğan was welcomed by King Salman at the Al-Salam Royal Palace in Jeddah, and the two leaders held a closed-door meeting. The meeting marked the first meeting between Turkish and Saudi leaders in five years.

The Turkish president later met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

President Tayyip Erdoğan (L) meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, April 28, 2022. (Murat Çetinmühürdar/PPO/Handout via IHA)
President Tayyip Erdoğan (L) meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, April 28, 2022. (Murat Çetinmühürdar/PPO/Handout via IHA)

Erdoğan had arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier in the day for a two-day working visit. His plane landed at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah where he was welcomed by Khalid Al-Faisal, the emir of Mecca region. Turkish Ambassador in Riyadh Fatih Ulusoy and Turkey’s permanent representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Mehmet Metin Eker were also present.

The Turkish president is accompanied by first lady Emine Erdoğan, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, and Treasury and Finance Minister Nurettin Nebati.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Commerce Minister Mehmet Muş, Deputy Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Binali Yildirim, head of National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Hakan Fidan, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın are also part of the delegation.

Turkiye and Saudi Arabia will start a “new era” to boost bilateral ties, Erdoğan said on Thursday before his departure to Saudi Arabia.

“My visit (to Saudi Arabia) is the manifestation of our common will to start a new era of cooperation as two brotherly countries,” Erdoğan told reporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

“It is in our common interest to increase our cooperation with Saudi Arabia in fields such as health, energy, food security, agricultural technologies, defense industry, and finance,” he said.

Erdoğan also said that Turkiye strives to ensure regional peace and resolve problems via dialogue and diplomacy.

“I believe we will boost our ties in every field through our joint efforts,” he said, stressing “the potential especially in renewable and clean energy technologies.”

He said regional and international developments will also be on the agenda during his visit. “We express at every occasion that we place as much importance on the stability and security of our brothers in the Gulf region as our own.”

Erdoğan also underlined the importance of “dialogue and cooperation” for the security and stability of the entire region as “threats are growing more and more complex.”

He also condemned recent drone and missile attacks targeting Saudi Arabia.

In recent years Turkish-Saudi ties suffered due to foreign policy differences. Tensions rose following the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.


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