ANKARA

Türkiye, Saudi Arabia hail ’new era of cooperation’

Türkiye and Saudi Arabia declared their determination to start a “new era of cooperation’’ during a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as they set aside years of tension following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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The crown king made his first trip to Türkiye on June 22 following the killing, by Saudi agents, of Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a one-on-one meeting with Prince Mohammed, and the talks were held in an atmosphere of “sincerity and brotherhood embodying the depth of excellent relations between the two countries,’’ according to a joint statement.

Türkiye and Saudi Arabia “strongly emphasized a joint determination to start a new era of cooperation in bilateral relations, including political, economic, military, security and cultural relations,” the statement said.

“The sides discussed the possibilities of developing and diversifying mutual trade, facilitating the bilateral trade between the two countries and overcoming the difficulties, increasing the communication in the public and private sectors of the two countries in order to explore investment opportunities and transform them into concrete partnerships in various fields,” the declaration said.

As G-20 members, the parties acknowledge the great economic potential of the two countries and the potential of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision for investment, trade, tourism, development, industry, mining, construction projects, transportation-infrastructure (including contracting), agriculture, food security and health and emphasized the opportunities they offer in the fields of communication-information technology, media and sports, it added.

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Ties between Riyadh and Ankara were dealt a heavy blow by the killing of Khashoggi, a Saudi insider-turned-critic.

But Saudi de facto ruler Prince Mohammed and Erdoğan have worked to patch up the bilateral relationship in recent months.

Erdoğan held meetings with King Salman and the crown prince late on April 28, in his first visit to Saudi Arabia since 2017, in a bid to mend the ruined ties.

His visit to Riyadh came after a Turkish court transferred the Khashoggi case to Saudi legal institutions.

Over the past year, Ankara has embarked on a diplomatic push to reset relations with countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia after years of antagonism following the 2011 Arab Spring.

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Türkiye’s support for popular movements linked to the Muslim Brotherhood initially spurred the break with Arab regimes.


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