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Saudi crown prince receives warm welcome in Turkey, to strengthen 'historical brotherhood'

Relationship was strained between the countries following Khashoggi murder

Turkey Saudi Saudi crown prince Mohamed Bin Salman along with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his recent visit to Turkey | AP

The Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman received a warm welcome and was embraced by Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his first visit to the nation after the Kashoggi murder.

The relationship between the countries was strained after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi in 2018 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Erdogan, though, he did not name Salman, alleged that 'highest levels' of the Saudi government were behind the murder. Salman denied any role in the killing. However, this strained the relationship between the countries which Erdogan is trying to rapproach hoping for financial support for Turkey ahead of presidential elections in 2023.

Erdogan is seeking financial support that could help relieve Turkey’s beleaguered economy ahead of tight elections for the presidency, expected in 2023, Al Jazeera reported. 

In a joint statement issued by the leaders following their talks, they emphasised determination on ushering in a new period of cooperation in bilateral relations. 

Reuters reported Erdogan held one-on-one talks with Prince Mohammed in Saudi Arabia after a months-long drive to mend relations between the regional powers, including dropping the Turkish trial over Khashoggi's 2018 murder in Istanbul. Erdogan said last week he and Prince Mohammed would discuss "to what much higher level" they can take ties during talks in Ankara. 

A senior Turkish official told Reuters, "a full normalisation and a restoration of the pre-crisis period” is expected out of this visit. The Turkish official said the two countries had lifted restrictions on trade, flights and the screening of TV series with mutual negative media coverage also halted. 

However, he said negotiations on a possible currency swap line - which could help restore Turkey's diminished foreign reserves - were not moving "as fast as desired" and will be discussed privately between Erdogan and Prince Mohammed.

The two countries also discussed improving cooperation in trade and sectors such as defence, energy and tourism among others, the joint statement said.

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