Saudi crown prince pays 1st visit to Turkey since death of journalist Khashoggi

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan(twitter)

Ankara, June 23 (IANS) Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has arrived in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, to start his first visit to Turkey since the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted the crown prince on Wednesday with a grand welcoming ceremony, which was followed by a private meeting between the two leaders, Xinhua news agency reported.

Turkey is the third stop of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s regional tour, which also brought him to Egypt and Jordan.

Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for The Washington Post, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, causing international backlash against the crown prince, and plunging the bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and Turkey onto a rock bottom.

In addition, the two countries didn’t see eye to eye on a range of regional issues concerning Egypt, Libya, and Syria.

Ankara, which is in the grip of a deep economic downturn, has been recently seeking to restore ties with Riyadh and other Gulf Arab countries.

In April, a Turkish court decided to halt the trial of Saudi Arabian suspects over the death of Khashoggi and transfer the proceedings to the Saudi authorities. Weeks after the court’s decision, the Turkish President visited Saudi Arabia and held a meeting with the Crown Prince.

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