Saudi crown prince bin Salman to meet Erdogan in Ankara

First visit to Turkey since murder of journalist Khashoggi

22 June, 14:16

    ISTANBUL - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) was scheduled to undertake on Wednesday an official visit to Turkey to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Anadolu reports. MBS will be received at the presidential palace in the capital Ankara by Erdogan during a ceremony scheduled at 4:30 pm local time (3:30 Italian time).

    Talks will follow between the two leaders and three Saudi delegations as well as Turkish officials, Anadolu said. No press conference has been scheduled.

    Wednesday's visit is part of a normalization process of relations between Ankara and Riyadh which was started last year and brought in April the Turkish head of State to travel to the kingdom for an official visit to meet with the monarch Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as well as with the crown prince.

    Over the past few years, relations between Ankara and Riyadh were complicated due to the different positions of the two countries on the embargo against Qatar in 2017 by some Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia.

    The crisis in relations however became explicit in 2018 after the murder of the Saudi journalist and a vocal opponent of the kingdom, Jamal Khashoggi, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A CIA report highlighted MBS's role in the murder and Ankara strongly criticized Riyadh. After four years, in April, a court in Istanbul decided to close and transfer to Saudi Arabia a trial on Khashoggi's murder with 26 Saudi defendants, who were being tried in absentia over their alleged role in the reporter's death.

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