Erdogan visits Saudi Arabia, eyes cooperation and investments
The Turkish president arrives in Jeddah on a visit to lift itself from the crisis it's bearing.
On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Saudi Arabia in the first visit since the killing of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Turkey, dealing with an economic crisis and the deterioration of its currency, the Turkish Lira, has been seeking a revival in its relationship with Gulf countries, with which its ties have been strained since the so-called Arab Spring.
"Erdogan met with King Salman in an official ceremony in the Al-Salam palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah," the Turkish presidency said in a statement.
Before his one-on-one meeting with Erdogan, Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman attended the ceremony, according to Ankara's communication office on Twitter.
It was said that Erdogan's visit is upon the invitation of the Saudi king.
Analysts are saying that Riyadh could assist Turkey in its inflation hike which has risen above 60%, especially before the Turkish elections next year.
Before departing for Jeddah, Erdogan said that the visit was "the manifestation of our common will" to enhance bilateral ties and strengthen political, military and cultural relations, adding that boosting partnerships in health, energy, food, security, defense and finance will also be mutually beneficial to Ankara and Riyadh.
"With common efforts, I believe we will carry our ties even beyond where they were in the past," he said.
Erdogan raised hopes that the visit will put a halt to the unofficial boycott of Turkish imports, which stood at a whopping 98%.
Furthermore, Ankara has been looking to get Riyadh to join a currency swap network - the network, worth $28 billion, includes China, South Korea, Qatar and the UAE, while also seeking contracts with the kingdom like those with the UAE.
"Erdogan is pragmatic and a political animal, and his polls may not hold up for a year unless he can boost jobs," said a Western diplomat. "So he is partly seeking deals and funding in Saudi, and a swap line for perhaps $10-$20 billion would be something worthwhile."