Two well-informed sources told Reuters that Erdogan had sought to meet the Saudi crown prince in Qatar.
However, a source ruled out that this meeting will take place this week, and is likely to happen “soon.” And if that happens, it will be the first time Erdogan and Mohammed bin Salman have met since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Doha and Ankara announced the signing of dozens of agreements during Erdogan’s visit. Qatar is a key regional ally of Turkey, which is suffering from a significant deterioration in its currency after a series of sharp criticisms taken by Erdogan to cut interest rates.
At a press conference in Doha, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey is seeking to seek economic assistance from Doha, while his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, stressed that his country is seeking to access opportunities that may arise from the economic challenges that Turkey is witnessing. .
The Saudi crown prince is supposed to arrive in Qatar, on Wednesday.
A Turkish and another Gulf official, familiar with the plans for the two visits, said that there were talks to hold a meeting between Erdogan and Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Turkish official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that “the schedules (for the visit) did not match…so it seems that there will not be a comprehensive meeting this week.”
“But it is possible that this meeting will take place at a soon date when the schedules coincide,” he added, referring to “many opportunities for cooperation” between the two countries.
closeness in relationships
The Qatari foreign minister stressed that the visit of the Turkish president and the Saudi crown prince to Doha during the same period is purely a coincidence.
Saudi Arabia, for its part, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Last year, the kingdom imposed an “unofficial boycott” on Turkish imports, after tension prevailed between the two countries following Khashoggi’s killing, and the effects of that issue would be reflected on trade between the two countries, according to Reuters.
After the killing of the Saudi journalist in Istanbul, in October 2018, Erdogan said that the order to kill him came from the “highest levels” of the Saudi government, although he did not mention the name of the Saudi crown prince, who was directly accused of being responsible for the journalist’s killing, which he personally denied knowing, However, he claimed responsibility because the incident occurred during his rule.
An assessment issued by the US intelligence, last February, indicated that the Saudi crown prince was the one who issued the order to kill Khashoggi, while the kingdom denied this.
Despite all this, and over the past months, it seemed as if Saudi Arabia and Turkey were trying to heal the relationship, which was also punctuated over the years by differences over regional issues and political Islam.
The Saudi crown prince’s tour comes after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Riyadh on Saturday, making it the first visit by a high-ranking Western leader to the kingdom since the killing of Khashoggi.
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