Saudi Arabia and Turkey ‘turn new page’ as crown prince visits Ankara

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Ankara on Wednesday on the final leg of his regional tour, after concluding talks in Amman with King Abdullah of Jordan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the crown prince with an honor guard ceremony at the presidential palace, and the two men shook hands and embraced before being met by members of the Turkish cabinet.

In a joint statement after talks between the crown prince and the president, the two countries said they had discussed improving relations and investment in sectors from energy to defense.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey were “turning a new page in their relations,” Halil Ozcan, chairman of the Turkish-Saudi Friendship Committee in Turkey’s parliament, told Arab News.

“We hope that serious concrete steps in the economic, military and defense areas will be taken in the near term … and the visit of the crown prince will hopefully lead to broad agreements in these areas,” he said.

“Turkey and Saudi Arabia are both important countries in their regions. Any strategic partnership will contribute a lot to … regional stability, and Turkey is always open to mediate … any regional conflict,” said Ozcan.

His parliamentary committee is now expected to visit Saudi Arabia regularly, with the first trip scheduled for after Eid. He said Turkey’s embassy in Riyadh was following up on trade issues. “We will do our best to overcome the challenges ahead to patch up the economic and trade ties,” he said.

The crown prince had flown to Turkey from Jordan, where he held talks with King Abdullah on increasing economic and investment cooperation. They discussed joint initiatives in the mining sector, infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, culture, healthcare, and communications technology.
The king and the crown prince also called for international efforts to create a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative.

Source: Arab News

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