Turkey & Saudi Arabia agree to keep mending relations during Turkish FM’s first visit to Kingdom since Khashoggi’s murder

Turkey & Saudi Arabia agree to keep mending relations during Turkish FM's first visit to Kingdom since Khashoggi's murder

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Turkey met in Mecca on Tuesday, expressing readiness to keep working on improving ties between the states which deteriorated after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed bilateral relations as well as major regional and international developments, Saudi official news agency SPA reported after their meeting.

The two agreed to “work on positive issues on our common agenda and to hold regular consultations,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter. Cooperation between Ankara and Riyadh will “contribute to stability, peace and prosperity in the region,” he added.

The first visit of Turkey’s top diplomat to Saudi Arabia in more than two years was preceded by two phone calls between King Salman and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, in which they talked about the possible rapprochement.

Relations between Riyadh and Ankara seriously soured in the wake of the assassination of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman, inside the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Turkey reacted angrily to a murder on its territory, with Erdogan insisting that it was masterminded at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

Riyadh rejected the accusations and responded with an unofficial boycott of Turkish goods.

Khashoggi’s killing isn’t the only contentious issue the two, which are striving for leading positions in the Muslim world, have to overcome to restore diplomatic ties. Ankara has been critical of Riyadh’s attempts to launch a dialogue with Israel, while Saudi Arabia has condemned Turkey’s military intervention in Libya.

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