Turkey’s Erdogan says dialogue with Saudi Arabia continues as Ankara expects progress
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country is continuing dialogue with Saudi Arabia and that Ankara expects progress through concrete steps in the upcoming period, state news agency Anadolu reported on Wednesday.
“Our positive dialogue with Saudi Arabia continues, and we are waiting for progress through tangible steps in the coming period,” Erdogan told journalists aboard his plane returning back from his state visit to the UAE on Tuesday.
"We want to advance this process with Saudi Arabia in a positive direction," he added.
Erdogan had said in January he will visit Saudi Arabia in February, but no official statements were made to confirm the visit from either country.
He was asked at an event last month Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia and he responded: “He is expecting me in February. He made a promise, and I will make my visit to Saudi Arabia in February,” without giving a name.
According to Saudi Arabia's state media, the last public announcement of communication between Erdogan and King Salman bin Abdulaziz was in May 2021, during a phone call to discuss bilateral relations.
Ties between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been strained after killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
But Turkey has sought to improve ties with the Kingdom.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, Erdogan is currently working to mend his ties with other countries in the region as he faces domestic challenges at home brought on by an economy grappling with a currency crash and soaring inflation.
His trip to the UAE this week saw the two countries sign 13 cooperation agreements covering various sectors including defense and trade. Erdogan also used the opportunity to call on the UAE’s private companies to invest in Turkey.