Bin Salman visits Turkey for the first time since Khashoggi murder
For the first time since Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's murder, bin Salman will visit Ankara to discuss a range of issues with Erdogan.
Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will pay his first visit Wednesday to Turkey since the murder in 2018 of Wahington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.
The talks in Ankara between bin Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan come one month ahead of a visit to Riyadh by US president Joe Biden, for a regional summit allegedly focused on the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.
Erdogan's decision to revive ties with one of his biggest rivals is also driven in large part by economics and trade. Turks' living standards are imploding one year before a general election that poses one of the biggest challenges of Erdogan's two-decade rule.
After Khashoggi's death, Erdogan's government released drip-by-drip details of the murder that deeply embarrassed the Saudi crown prince.
"He gets off the plane and hugs the killers"
Turkey's rapprochement with the Saudis began with an Istanbul court decision in April to break off the trial in absentia of 26 suspects accused of links to Khashoggi's killing and to transfer the case to Riyadh.
US intelligence officials have determined that bin Salman approved the plot against Khashoggi - something Riyadh denies.
The court's decision drew strong protests from Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, but it paved the way for a visit to Saudi Arabia by Erdogan three weeks later when he hugged the crown prince.
"He gets off the plane and hugs the killers," expressed Turkey's main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu - Erdogan's likely chief rival in the presidential race.
"You should be ashamed," he said, addressing the Turkish president.
Ankara expects the mending of fences between the two powers to help improve the Turkish economy at a crucial stage of Erdogan's rule.
A Turkish official indicated that the sides will discuss a range of issues that include cooperation between banks and support for small and medium-sized businesses.