The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, receives this Wednesday the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bin Salman, whom he indirectly linked to the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, in a new rapprochement between the two countries marked by the saudi investments in the ailing Turkish economy.
The prince, who leads a large political delegation and financially, he will first have a private meeting with Erdogan in Ankara.
Then there will be a meeting of ministers, experts and businessmen from the two countries, with a markedly economic agenda.
Erdogan and Bin Salman, in a meeting in April, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo: AP
Turkey has been dragging economic difficulties for months, due to the sharp depreciation of the lira Already an inflation that already exceeds 70%.
In that context, the expected multi-million dollar Saudi investments they could have a positive effect, important for Erdogan in the face of the presidential and parliamentary elections of June 2023, and they would be the balm to sweep the assassination of Khashoggi under the carpet, dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The brutal murder of Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi heir, shocked the world board and sparked a deep diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Jamal Khashoggi. Photo: Mohammed al-Shaikh / AFP
Agreements to sign
The state broadcaster TRT reports that agreements will be signed in sectors such as tourism, health and military industryand that the two leaders will also discuss regional and international issues.
The visit has been harshly criticized by the oppositionwhich accuses Erdogan of act for money against the honor and interests of the country.
The Turkish government and Justice acted harshly after Khashoggi’s murder in October 2018.
Erdogan stated in his day that he was sure that King Salman bin Abdulaziz, father of Mohamed bin Salman, had nothing to do with the crime, but that “The order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government,” in a reference to the prince.
The Turkish Justice initiated a trial in absentia against 26 Saudi citizens, until at the beginning of last April the case was closed ending one of the main investigations to convict the culprits.
The relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia it was cracked for Erdogan’s support for the pro-democracy movements of the so-called Arab spring between 2010 and 2012, for Qatar and for the Muslim Brotherhood movement, but bottomed out with the Khashoggi case.
After the closure of the judicial process at the beginning of last April, Erdogan met last April in Riyadh with the king and the prince.
In addition to the interest in receiving an economic injectionseveral analysts see in this shift by Erdogan a message to the United States that Turkey wants mend relations with Washington’s allies in the Persian Gulf.