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Saudi Crown Prince Visits Turkey after Years of Tensions over Khashoggi Murder

Thursday 23 June 2022
Saudi Crown Prince Visits Turkey after Years of Tensions over Khashoggi Murder

Alwaght- Saudi Crown Prince arrived in Turkey on Wednesday in a bid to normalize ties with Ankara that were ruptured after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered at Turkey’s consulate with the direct order of de facto Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)

The visit marks a step in efforts by MBS to rehabilite his image beyond the Persian Gulf, and comes as Erdogan seeks financial support that could help relieve Turkey's beleaguered economy ahead of tight elections for the president.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed MBS at the presidential palace in Ankara with a ceremony and the two shook hands and embraced, before being met by members of the Turkish cabinet.

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. Erdogan at the time blamed it on the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded that Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

The CIA made the assessment based on the crown prince’s control of Saudi Arabia, which is such that the killing would not have taken place without his approval, and has buttressed its conclusion with two sets of crucial communications: intercepts of the crown prince’s calls in the days before the killing, and calls by the kill team to a senior aide to the crown prince.

Prince Mohammed has been leveraging Saudi Arabia's vast wealth and oil production capacity to lure in Western leaders and private business partners, hoping shifting geopolitics and a focus on social and economic reforms would soften criticism of his human rights record.

US President Joe Biden is set to visit Saudi Arabia in July as Washington struggles with record high gasoline prices and building a united front against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

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 Erdogan shore up support ahead of 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.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said on Tuesday that Erdogan "will embrace the man who ordered the killing" of Khashoggi and accused him of trading "the country's honor" for financial aid.

 

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