After his visit to Saudi Arabia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed Ankara’s optimism for the prospects of developing relations with the kingdom.
On 30 April, Erdogan told reporters that Turkey “must enter a new stage with countries with which we share the same beliefs and ideas. It is a stage of winning friends, not creating enemies.”
Erdogan said that during talks in the kingdom, Turkey and Saudi Arabia showed “a clear political will” to develop international relations based on respect and mutual trust.
He said that Turkey was ready for mutual benefit and stability in the region, and hoped that “dialogue between Ankara and Riyadh would contribute to stability and solidarity in the Islamic world.”
The Turkish president said that his visit to Saudi Arabia had ended with an agreement to reactivate the economic potential between the two countries through activities that bring together investors from both sides.
However, the official Saudi TV channel said the official visit to the kingdom last week came at the request of President Erdogan, contradicting statements from the Turkish government that the invitation had come from Riyadh.
A report on the Al-Ikhbariya channel described President Erdogan as having arrived in Jeddah after “fulfilling his wish to visit, where the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will receive the leaders of the Islamic world in the last 10 days of Ramadan.”
The report added that the visit, the first since 2017, ”came after Erdogan repeatedly expressed his wish to visit the kingdom, which has finally been achieved after five years.”
On 28 April, President Erdogan met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in his first visit to the kingdom since the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Turkish president was received by King Salman in an official ceremony at Al-Salam palace in the city of Jeddah. He then held a one-on-one meeting with MbS.