Saudi crown prince, Erdogan meet in Turkey with ‘full normalisation’ in sights

Agreements on energy, economy and security to be signed



Turkish presidential press service on shows Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (L) shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah. April 28, 2022. Photo: AFP
Turkish presidential press service on shows Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (L) shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah. April 28, 2022. Photo: AFP

By Reuters

Published: Wed 22 Jun 2022, 8:29 AM

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 between the two countries.

In April, Erdogan went to Saudi Arabia after a months-long drive to mend relations between the regional powers.

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 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 Reuters on condition of anonymity. “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.

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Prince Mohammed is on his first tour outside the Gulf region in over three years including a visit to Jordan.

The visit comes as Turkey’s economy is badly strained by a slumping lira and inflation soaring beyond 70%. Saudi funds and foreign currency could help Erdogan shore up support ahead of tight elections by June 2023, analysts say.

The Turkish official said Saudi Arabia may be interested in companies within the Turkish Wealth Fund or elsewhere, or in making investments similar to those by the United Arab Emirates in recent months.

The leaders will also discuss the possible sale of Turkish armed drones to Riyadh, the person added.


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