Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman planning trip to Turkey
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is planning a trip to Turkey and several other countries soon, sources familiar with the plans said on Monday, in a visit that would come as Ankara and Riyadh aim to mend ties.
Erdoğan late last month visited the kingdom in the first high-level visit in years, which followed intense efforts in recent months to repair some diplomatic damage after a decade of tension, especially after the 2018 murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul Consulate
In addition to Turkey, four sources told Reuters that MBS will also be visiting Greek Cyprus, Greece, Jordan and Egypt where he will discuss regional and international issues and ink agreements in energy and trade.
This would be the prince’s first tour outside the region since the Khashoggi murder and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. He visited Japan for a G-20 summit in 2019.
Saudi officials are still discussing the exact dates with the countries the crown prince is visiting, the sources said. Two of them added that the trip could happen as soon as early June.
One of the sources, a senior Turkish official, said MBS, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, accepted Erdoğan’s invitation to visit and both sides were working to schedule it.
“Topics to be discussed are bilateral trade, regional developments, the possible (currency) swap deal and other investment and energy projects,” the official said.
MBS’ last tour was of fellow Gulf Arab states last year.
Following his trip to Saudi Arabia that came upon Saudi King Salman’s invitation, Erdoğan said Ankara and Riyadh were striving to increase all kinds of political, military and economic relations to “start a new era.”
He said the sides were determined to accelerate efforts for the common interests and stability of the region.
“We agreed with Saudi Arabia to reactivate a great economic potential through organizations that will bring our investors together,” Erdoğan said.
Over the past year, Ankara has embarked on a diplomatic push to reset relations with regional powers such as Israel, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia after years of antagonism.