Ankara : Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Ankara on Wednesday. He is on his first visit to Turkey since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The purpose of this visit is to remove the sour relations between the two powerful countries of the region after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. On the last leg of his West Asia visit, he reached Turkey where he met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He also visited Egypt and Jordan. US President Joe Biden is also scheduled to visit the region next week. Erdogan said talks with the Saudi crown prince would focus on taking Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations to greater heights. The Turkish President visited Saudi Arabia in April this year. This was his first visit to the Arab country since 2017. A year after his visit, Khashoggi was brutally murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

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Why Turkey and Saudi Arabia are getting closer?
Turkey seeks to improve ties with Saudi Arabia, which is facing its worst economic crisis in two decades and seeks investment from prosperous Gulf Arab countries. Turkey has also taken steps to improve relations with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Israel. At the same time, Saudi Arabia wants to expand its alliance at a time when relations between Riyadh and Washington are tense. Saudi Crown Prince would like to end the controversy over Khashoggi’s murder, which has damaged his reputation.

Turkey accuses Saudi Arabia indirectly
Turkey has launched a trial against 26 Saudi agents suspected of killing Khashoggi. However, earlier this year the court stayed the proceedings and transferred the trial to Saudi Arabia, paving the way for reconciliation. Although Erdogan never named Mohammed bin Salman in the Khashoggi murder case, he did say that the instructions for the killing came from the “top level” in the Saudi government. Khashoggi was assassinated in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

‘Touring the countries won’t change the truth’
Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz calls MBS a ‘killer’. He wrote on Twitter, ‘His visit to our country cannot change the fact that he was responsible for the murder. The political legitimacy he is gaining from day-to-day visits to different countries cannot change the fact that he is a murderer. Biden, who is visiting Saudi Arabia next month, said last week that he would not meet with MBS. Biden has said in the past that he will continue to treat Saudi Arabia as an ‘untouchable’. However, Saudi Arabia believes that there is a possibility of a meeting between the two leaders.

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