Turkey’s Erdogan meets Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the eve of Eid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Thursday to meet Saudi leaders for bilateral talks, marking his first visit with the Kingdom’s leaders since 2017, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday. .

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has received Erdoğan at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on the evening of April 28. After an official reception ceremony and a banquet welcoming Turkish President in Jeddah, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman detained a Meet with Erdogan.

“During the meeting, they reviewed Saudi-Turkish relations and opportunities to develop them in various fields. They also discussed the latest regional and international developments and efforts towards them,” SPA reported on April 29.

Erdoğan presided over a press conference at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport on April 28 moments before heading to Jeddah later the same day for what the pro-Erdoğan Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah described as a “two-day working visit” to Saudi Arabia from April 28 to April 30.

“My visit (to Saudi Arabia) is a manifestation of our common desire to start a new era of cooperation as two brotherly countries,” Erdoğan told reporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

“It is in our common interest to increase our cooperation with Saudi Arabia in areas such as health, energy, food security, agricultural technology, defense industry and finance,” he said. he declared.

“We express at every opportunity that we value the stability and security of our brothers in the Gulf region as much as we do our own,” the Turkish leader said.

“Saudi Arabia holds a special place for Turkey in terms of trade and investment as well as large-scale projects implemented by our contractors,” Erdoğan said. “The total value of the projects that our contractors have undertaken in Saudi Arabia reaches $24 billion. The complementary nature of our economies is the main factor attracting Saudi investors to Turkey’s dynamic environment.

“Ties between Saudi Arabia and Turkey were strained after the murder of [Saudi] journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018,” Al Arabiya noted on April 28.

Amazon Property Washington Post employed Khashoggi as a columnist from 2017 until his death in the fall of 2018. The Makkah-born journalist was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.

Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman told the Atlantic in an interview published on March 3, he believed that his human right to remain “innocent until proven guilty” had been violated by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) when the organization accused him of ‘ordering the killing of Khashoggi in 2018. The CIA made this allegation in a declassified intelligence report published in February 2021.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are Sunni Muslim majority nations. Erdoğan’s visit to Saudi Arabia from April 28-30 coincides with the hours leading up to Eid al-Fitr. The three-day festival means “festival of breaking the fast” in Arabic and marks the end of Ramadan, which is an Islamic holy month characterized by fasting from dawn to dusk.

Muslim worshipers perform the Eid al-Fitr morning prayer at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, on May 13, 2021. (ABDULGHANI ESSA/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey is officially a secular country, although 99% of its estimated population of 82 million is Muslim. About 77.5% of Turkey’s Muslim population follows Hanafi Sunni Islam. The total population of Saudi Arabia is estimated at 34.2 million. “Between 85 and 90 percent of Saudi Arabia’s approximately 21 million citizens are Sunni Muslims,” ​​the US State Department reported in 2020, noting that about 38.3 percent of Saudi residents are foreigners.


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