Erdogan says Turkey, Saudi Arabia have common will to reactivate economic potential


ANKARA, April 30, Reuters - Turkey and Saudi Arabia have a common will to reactivate a great economic potential between the two countries, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday after his first trip to the kingdom since 2017.

Erdogan said to reporters on a flight back from Saudi Arabia, where he sought to repair frayed ties, that both sides were determined to speed up efforts for the common interests and stability of the region.

The media readout did not mention a possible currency swap line, nor specifics of any other planned investments that could help relieve Turkey's economic strains.

Erdogan said that we agreed with Saudi Arabia to reactivate a great economic potential through organisations that bring together our investors.

On his two-day visit, Erdogan met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and discussed various international, regional and bilateral issues.

He said that Turkey would support them in their bid to host EXPO 2030 in Riyadh.

The culmination of a months long rapprochement drive that included dropping a trial over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018 was the culmination of Erdogan's visit. The Saudi king invited him, according to Erdogan's office.

Analysts and officials say Saudi funding could help Turkey alleviate its economic woes, including soaring inflation, ahead of tough elections for the president next year. They said a swap line could help boost depleted Turkish reserves.

Relations soured after Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a Saudi hit squad at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in 2018. At the time, Erdogan accused the highest levels of the Saudi government of giving orders, but Ankara has softened its tone.

I believe that my visit will bring a new era to the ties between our two countries. He said that we have demonstrated our common will to enhance ties.

Erdogan stated that there was a need for a new era in foreign policy and said that this was a process of making friends and not enemies with countries with whom we share the same beliefs and thoughts. Turkey is working to mend long-strained ties with Israel and Ankara's top diplomat is due to visit there in May.

Erdogan said a similar policy may be adopted towards Egypt and that current low-level dialogue can be escalated.

We already have relations at a low level, such as between our intelligence services. Erdogan said that these steps can be taken at a higher level, and that the positive results indicate that these steps can be taken at a higher level.