Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman arrived in Turkey for the first time in years yesterday for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aimed at fully normalising ties.
In April, Erdogan held one-on-one talks with Prince Mohamed in Saudi Arabia after a months-long drive to mend relations between the regional powers. Erdogan said last week he and the crown prince would discuss “to what much higher level” they can take ties during talks in Ankara.
The visit is expected to bring “a full normalisation and a restoration of the pre-crisis period,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “A new era will begin.”
Erdogan welcomed the crown prince at the presidential palace in Ankara with a ceremony and the two shook hands and embraced, before being met by members of the Turkish cabinet. There are no public statements scheduled after their talks.
The Turkish official said the two countries had lifted restrictions on trade, flights and the screening of TV series, with mutual negative media coverage also halted.
Agreements on energy, economy and security would be signed during the visit, while a plan was also in the works for Saudi funds to enter capital markets in Turkey, the official said.
However, he said negotiations on a possible currency swap line — which could help restore Turkey’s diminished foreign reserves — were not moving “as fast as desired” and will be discussed privately between Erdogan and the crown prince, who is on his first tour outside the Gulf region in over three years including a visit to Jordan.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman during an official ceremony at the Presidential Complex in Ankara. (AFP)