Health and Fitness

Turkey’s Erdogan travels to Riyadh for fence-mending effort


ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will to journey to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, his workplace introduced, on the most recent leg of Ankara’s bridge-building efforts with regional rivals.

It might be Erdogan’s first go to to the dominion since Turkey dropped the trial of 26 Saudis suspected of involvement within the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018.

Talks with Saudi officers throughout the two-day go to will concentrate on methods of accelerating cooperation, based on an announcement from Erdogan workplace. The sides will change views on regional and worldwide points.

The resolution earlier this month to switch the prosecution to Saudi Arabia eliminated the final stumbling block to renewed Turkey-Saudi ties, particularly in Erdogan’s relationship with de-facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The killing of Khashoggi within the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate sparked world outrage and put strain on the prince, who was mentioned to have accredited the operation to kill or seize Khashoggi, in a U.S. intelligence report launched a yr in the past. The Saudi authorities has all the time denied any involvement by the prince.

Erdogan, whereas not naming the prince, mentioned the order to hold out the assassination got here from the ‘highest ranges’ of the Saudi authorities.

A Saudi courtroom jailed eight folks over the killing in September 2020 – a trial described as a sham by rights teams – however Turkey additionally launched a case in absentia towards 26 Saudi suspects.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

The April 7 switch of the case to Saudi Arabia got here on the request of the Turkish prosecutor, who mentioned there was no prospect of arresting or taking statements from the defendants.

Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, had appealed towards the choice to droop the trial in Turkey and to switch the case to Saudi Arabia, however an administrative courtroom rejected the attraction final week.

Over the previous yr Ankara has launched into a diplomatic push to reset relations with nations corresponding to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia after years of antagonism following the 2011 Arab Spring.

Turkey’s assist for well-liked actions linked to the Muslim Brotherhood initially spurred the break with Arab regimes that noticed the brotherhood’s imaginative and prescient of political Islam as a menace.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Later developments, notably the blockade of Turkish ally Qatar by its Gulf neighbors, bolstered the cut up. The lifting of the embargo by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain early final yr paved the best way for reconciliation.

Erdogan final visited Saudi Arabia in July 2017 as he tried to resolve the blockade on Qatar imposed the earlier month.

In February he obtained a fanfare welcome within the UAE as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was lit up with the Turkish flag and Turkey’s nationwide anthem blared out.

Turkey’s diplomatic drive has coincided with its worst financial disaster in twenty years, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and now the warfare in Ukraine. Official inflation stands at 61 p.c whereas the lira has plummeted, falling 44 p.c in worth towards the greenback in 2021.

Turkey has secured a $4.9 billion foreign money swap take care of Abu Dhabi, following related agreements with Qatar, China and South Korea. The UAE additionally introduced a $10 billion fund to assist investments in Turkey.

The finish of an unofficial Saudi boycott of Turkish items, which minimize Ankara’s exports by 90 p.c, noticed commerce to Saudi Arabia attain $58 million final month, triple the extent for the earlier yr however a fraction of the $298 million registered in March 2020.

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AP journalist Suzan Fraser contributed from Ankara, Turkey.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        





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