Saudi crown prince to visit Turkey next week, says Erdogan

The two countries are expected to sign several agreements

By AFP, Reuters

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Published: Fri 17 Jun 2022, 10:52 PM

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit Turkey next week, the Turkish president said on Friday. “The crown prince will visit on Wednesday, we will welcome him” at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.

“God willing, we will have the opportunity to assess to how much higher level we can take Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations,” Erdogan said.

The Saudi government did not immediately respond when asked to comment on Erdogan’s remarks.

Further details of the June 22 trip by the kingdom’s crown prince will be announced “over the weekend”, a senior Turkish official said earlier.

The two countries will sign several agreements during his trip as Turkey looks to non-Western partners for financial support as soaring inflation bites.

Erdogan had already paid his visit in late April to Saudi Arabia where he met the prince before travelling to the holy city of Makkah. “Turkey’s main concern would be getting Saudi funding to resupply central bank coffers that are dangerously low,” Asli Aydintasbas, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said.

James Dorsey, a senior fellow at the University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute, said “both countries need this visit”.

While Turkey seeks financial investment, “Saudi may be interested in Turkish military technology, plus they are both competing for leadership in the region”, he said.

The Turkish lira lost 44 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2021, while the central bank has pumped billions of dollars to prop up the currency.

In the past 18 months, Turkey has also sought to repair relations with other countries in the region like Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

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