Erdoğan and Saudi crown prince meet in Turkey, ending rift

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on June 22 visited Turkey for the first time since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Following his talk with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential palace, a joint statement said the two men discussed improving relations and investment in sectors from energy to defence, among others.

Erdoğan welcomes Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with an official ceremony in Ankara on June 22.

Anadolu Agency - Duvar English 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on June 22 declared their determination to launch a new era of cooperation in bilateral ties, including in the political, economic, military, security and cultural spheres.

Erdoğan welcomed bin Salman with an official ceremony in the capital Ankara.

According to a joint declaration, the leaders emphasized the countries' determination to start a new era of comprehensive cooperation in many areas.

Ankara and Riyadh decided to deepen consultation and cooperation in regional issues to strengthen stability and peace, it said.

The two leaders vowed to develop and maintain cooperation on the basis of the "historical brotherhood" of the two nations for the future of the region.

They also highlighted the importance of increasing the number of flights between their two countries, easing bilateral trade and exploring investment opportunities.

According to the statement, Erdoğan and the Saudi crown prince discussed the possibility of developing and diversifying mutual trade, facilitating bilateral trade between the two countries and overcoming difficulties as well as increasing communication in the public and private sectors of the two countries to explore investment opportunities and transform them into concrete partnerships in various fields.

The two leaders agreed to activate the Saudi-Turkish Coordination Council, to increase the level of cooperation and coordination in areas of common interest, and to work on the sharing of experience between experts of the two countries, the statement added.

They also expressed their cooperation expectations in the energy field, such as petroleum and refining, petrochemicals, energy efficiency, electricity, renewable energy, innovation, and clean technologies for hydrocarbon resources.

The joint statement also emphasized a consensus that was reached on the development of production and investment partnerships in the fields of artificial intelligence, digital technologies and smart cities plus encouraging cooperation between private sector actors operating in these fields.

In April, Erdoğan held one-on-one talks with Prince Mohammed in Saudi Arabia after a months-long drive to mend relations between the regional powers, including dropping the Turkish trial over Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's 2018 murder in Istanbul.

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh took a turn for the worse after a Saudi hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Erdoğan at the time blamed it on the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.

The June 22 visit, including the welcoming ceremony at the palace, marks a turnaround in their relations. Ankara stopped all criticism and halted its murder trial in April, transferring the case to Riyadh in a move condemned by human rights groups.

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