Erdogan embraces that Saudi prince

Turkey’s relations with Saudi Arabia have soured over the assassination of journalist Jamal Khasogi. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the mastermind of the assassination. Now the Turkish president has embraced that Saudi prince. The two leaders also pledged to restore relations.

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According to the AFP news agency, Erdogan is visiting Saudi Arabia for the first time since Khashoggi was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2016. The killings caused a rift in relations between the two countries. To improve relations, Erdogan met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Erdogan hugs Yuvraj, Saudi state news agency SPA released on Thursday. U.S. officials have confirmed that Mohammed bin Salman plotted to assassinate Khasogi. However, Riyadh has denied the allegations.

According to the SPA, the two leaders reviewed Saudi-Turkish relations and discussed ways to improve relations in all sectors.

A separate photo released by Turkish media shows Erdogan also meeting with Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the prince’s father. He performed Umrah in Holy Makkah.

Erdogan’s visit comes at a time when Turkey’s economy is in crisis due to the depreciation of the currency and the rise in inflation. The country is seeking financial support from energy-rich Gulf states.

Before leaving Istanbul for Jeddah, Erdogan expressed hope for a “new era” in bilateral relations. “We believe in enhancing cooperation in all areas, including defense and finance, in our mutual interest,” he said. On the occasion of Erdogan’s visit, the streets of Riyadh were decorated with the flags of the two countries.

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Jamal Khasogi was assassinated in October 2016 while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khasogi, once close to the royal family, was vocal in his criticism of the Saudi government. He was living in the United States at the time. He went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up papers with his girlfriend for marriage.

Saudi detectives killed Khasogi and dismembered his body. His remains have not been found so far. Saudi Arabia, in particular, Mohammed bin Salman, became internationally isolated in the wake of this brutal assassination. Tensions are building between regional rivals Riyadh and Ankara.


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