Turkish President Erdogan to visit Saudi Arabia in February

This came on the sidelines of his participation in the Exporters Conference in Istanbul, on Monday, to announce the export figures for the year 2021

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced that he will visit Saudi Arabia in February, which is his first visit since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Kingdom’s embassy in Istanbul in 2018.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Saudi Arabia next month, in an effort to repair Turkey’s relations with its regional rival, amid attempts to get out of the economic crisis.

This came on the sidelines of his participation in the Exporters Conference in Istanbul, on Monday, to announce the export figures for the year 2021.

MS Education Academy

“They wait for me, they expect me in Saudi Arabia,” Erdogan said. “I will make my visit in February.”

The Turkish president did not reveal more details about the visit, but he mentioned that it will be next February, the month in which he is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the date of the visit was set after the visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to Ankara as part of steps to return normalization of relations between the two countries.

Tension escalated to a crisis stage after the assassination of writer and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was an opponent of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, in 2018.

Following these developments, relations deteriorated further, reaching the point of a commercial boycott of Turkish products in Saudi Arabia, which negatively affected the proportion of Turkish exports to the Kingdom, since October 2020.

In April 2021, the Turkish president announced the opening of a new page with all the Gulf countries, and in May, Erdogan spoke on phone with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to discuss bilateral relations, and after the call, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Riyadh.

Erdogan also tried to arrange a meeting with the crown prince during a visit to Qatar in December, but the talks did not materialize.

Who was Jamal Khashoggi? What do we know about the assassination of Khashoggi?

As a prominent Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi has covered major stories, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, for several Saudi news organizations.

The 59-year-old has been close to the Saudi royal family for decades and has also worked as an adviser to the government.

He went into self-imposed exile in the United States in 2017. From there, he wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post criticizing the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, son of King Salman and Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Why he went to the consulate?

Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for the first time on September 28, 2018 to obtain a Saudi document stating that he was divorced so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

“He did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil,” Cengiz wrote in the Post.

It is reported that, Cengiz accompanied him to the entrance of the consulate on October 2. He was last seen in CCTV footage entering the building at 13:14 pm.

Cengiz waited for more than 10 hours outside the consulate and returned the next morning when Khashoggi had still not reappeared.

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