Saudi Crown Prince MBS visits Turkey

Thursday, Jun 23, 2022

ANKARA: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) took a big step Wednesday by paying a visit to Türkiye.

The talks in Ankara between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan will focus on the energy crunch caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. President Erdogan's decision to revive ties with Saudi Arabia is driven in large part by economics and trade. Turks’ living standards are imploding a year before a general election that poses one of the biggest challenges of Erdogan’s mercurial two-decade rule. “ think this is probably one of the most significant visits to Ankara by a foreign leader in almost a decade,” said The Washington Institute’s Turkey specialist Soner Cagaptay.

The Türkiye leader personally welcomed the crown prince at his presidential palace at a grand ceremony featuring a parade of horses and a military honour guard. They then held a two-hour meeting and a private dinner but no media event.

A joint statement issued by their foreign ministers said the meeting was held “in an atmosphere of sincerity and brotherhood embodying the depth of excellent relations between the two countries”.It said the sides discussed Saudi investments but announced no concrete deals. “There is increased confidence (in Riyadh) that Ankara could be more useful in the current geopolitical environment,” the Eurasia Group said in a research note.