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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Saudi crown prince to visit Turkey

2030969
2030969

ISTANBUL: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit Turkey next week, the Turkish president said on Friday, as Ankara and Riyadh heal a bitter rift following the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.


It is Prince Mohammed's first visit to Turkey since the brutal killing of Khashoggi inside the kingdom's consulate, which shocked the world and dealt a heavy blow to ties between the two countries.


"The crown prince will visit on Wednesday, we will welcome him" at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.


Further details of the June 22 trip by the kingdom's de facto ruler will be announced "over the weekend", a senior Turkish official said earlier.


The two countries will sign several agreements during his trip as Turkey looks to non-Western partners for financial support as soaring inflation bites.


Erdogan had already paid his visit in late April to Saudi Arabia since the murder, where he met the prince before travelling to Mecca.


"Turkey's main concern would be getting Saudi funding to resupply central bank coffers that are dangerously low'', Asli Aydintasbas, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said.


James Dorsey, a senior fellow at the University of Singapore's Middle East Institute, said "both countries need this visit".


While Turkey seeks financial investment, "Saudi may be interested in Turkish military technology, plus they are both competing for leadership in the region", he said. — AFP


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