Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the capital Ankara on June 22, making his first visit to Turkey after the assassination of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018.
As Saudi Arabia and Turkey continue their efforts to mend ties strained by Khashoggi’s murder, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met the Crown Prince on the final leg of a Middle East tour that will take him also drove in 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 traveled to Saudi Arabia in April, making his first visit to the kingdom since 2017, a year before the gruesome murder of Khashoggi by Saudi agents inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
Türkiye opened a trial in absentia against 26 Saudis suspected of Khashoggi’s murder, but the court decided earlier this year to stop the proceedings and transfer the case to Saudi Arabia, paving the way for the countries to come together.
Khashoggi entered the consulate in October 2018 by appointment to obtain papers allowing him to marry his Turkish fiancée, who was waiting for him outside. He never emerged and his body was never found.
Prince Mohammed’s trip to the Middle East comes ahead of US President Joe Biden’s planned trip to the region next month. Biden is due to visit Saudi Arabia at the end of his July 13-16 trip which includes stops in Israel and the occupied West Bank.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi received bin Salman in Cairo on June 20. Saudi and Egyptian companies signed deals worth a total of $7.7 billion during the visit. The deals covered “infrastructure, logistics services, port management, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, fossil fuels and renewable energy, and cybersecurity” and were worth $7.7 billion, the daily said. Egyptian Al-Ahram.
“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-owned Al-Ekhbariya said.