Saudi Crown Prince Visits Turkey for First Time Since Khashoggi Assassination
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected in Turkey next Wednesday for his first official visit to the country since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement on Friday.
A detailed program of the visit will be announced over the weekend, a senior Turkish official said. The two countries will sign different agreements.
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi has disrupted relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia for more than three years. Khashoggi, a critical columnist for the US newspaper Washington Post, was murdered and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, when he came to collect the papers for his wedding to his Turkish fiancée. At the time, Erdogan accused the Saudi government of having ordered the assassination. In response, Saudi Arabia has moved closer to Greece and Cyprus, Ankara’s two traditional rivals.
In early April, the Turkish court decided to close the murder trial and return the file to the Saudi authorities. There, after an opaque trial, five Saudis were sentenced to death and three others were jailed. The return of the file paved the way for a rapprochement between the two countries. In late April, Erdogan visited the Saudi city of Jeddah, where he met the crown prince to discuss the future of the relationship between the two countries.
The rapprochement between the countries is part of the formation of new alliances in the region. Turkey is trying to expand its relations with other Arab countries in the hope of investment. Due to the devaluation of the Turkish lira and high inflation, re-election in 2023 is becoming increasingly uncertain for Erdogan. With the investments, he hopes to be able to cope with the economic crisis.