Erdoğan met Saudi leaders for the first time since the Khashoggi murder

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Erdoğan met Saudi leaders for the first time since the Khashoggi murder
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in Jeddah, his first visit to the country since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 sparked a global outcry against the kingdom and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Reuters reported that the accusations strained ties between the two regional powers, leading to an unofficial Saudi boycott of Turkish goods, which has slashed Ankara’s exports to the Kingdom by 90 per cent.

In March, a Turkish prosecutor requested that the nearly two-year-old trial be halted and transferred to Saudi Arabia because the suspects' arrest warrants could not be executed and their statements could not be taken.

Erdoğan met Saudi leaders for the first time since the Khashoggi murderEarlier this month, a Turkish court ruled that the trial in absentia of 26 suspects accused of killing Khashoggi could be moved to Saudi Arabia to end the case effectively. Saudi state news agency SPA published photos of the Turkish leader embracing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). SPA reported that the pair “reviewed the Saudi-Turkish relations and ways to develop them in all fields,” SPA said. Photos published by Turkish state media also showed a separate sit-down with King Salman. Before flying from Istanbul to Saudi’s second-biggest city Jeddah, “We believe enhancing cooperation in areas including defence and finance is in our mutual interest,” Erdoğan added, increasing cooperation on health, energy, food security, and defence industry, and finance would benefit both countries.

Last year's improvement in relations with the United Arab Emirates resulted in the unlocking of billions of dollars in potential business. In January, the UAE signed a $4.9 billion currency swap with Turkey, providing much-needed support to the country's battered currency. The UAE has outlined plans for a $10bn fund to support investments as it seeks to double bilateral trade at least.

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