MBS, Erdogan hold parleys in Turkey to boost relations


ANKARA: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Turkey for the first time in years on Wednesday for talks with President Tayyip Erdogan aimed at fully normalising ties that were ruptured after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In April, Erdogan went to Saudi Arabia after a months-long drive to mend relations between the regional powers, including dropping the trial over Khashoggi’s 2018 murder in Istanbul.
He held one-on-one talks with Prince Mohammed while there, raising the possibility of Saudi investments that could help relieve Turkey’s beleaguered economy.
Erdogan said last week he and Prince Mohammed, Riyadh’s de facto leader, would discuss “to what much higher level” they can take ties during talks in Ankara.
The visit is expected to bring “a full normalisation and a restoration of the pre-crisis period,” a senior Turkish official told media. “A new era will begin.”
The official said negotiations on a possible currency swap line — which could help restore Turkey’s diminished foreign reserves — were not moving “as fast as desired” and will be discussed privately between Erdogan and Prince Mohammed.
Agreements on energy, economy and security would be signed during Prince Mohammed’s visit, while a plan was also in the works for Saudi funds to enter capital markets in Turkey, the person added. Prince Mohammed is on his first tour outside the Gulf region in over three years including a visit to Jordan. –Agencies