Saudi crown prince to meet Turkey’s president in Ankara

ISTANBUL (AP) — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to visit Ankara next week, Turkey’s president said Friday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the official visit would take place Wednesday. Erdogan said he and the crown prince would discuss advancing Turkish-Saudi relations to a “much higher degree” during delegation and one-on-one meetings at the presidential palace.

The crown prince’s visit to Turkey would continue a fast thaw of relations following a breakdown after the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.

While never naming Prince Mohammed, who runs his country on a day-to-day basis, Erdogan had said the operation that killed Khashoggi was ordered by the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

Turkey had a case open against 26 Saudi suspects in absentia, but the prosecutor transferred it to Saudi Arabia earlier this year, paving the way for the countries’ rapprochement.

Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia in April for the first time in five years. His efforts to improve relations with Saudi Arabia, as well as the United Arab Emirates, come as Turkey faces a major economic crisis, with official inflation at 73.5%, and has a presidential election next year.

Talks with the UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan late last year led to investment deals worth $10bn after years of regional rivalry.

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