Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his intention to visit Saudi Arabia in February, at the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz. The announcement came in Erdogan’s answer to a Turkish businesswoman’s question about the undeclared Saudi ban on Turkish goods and her demand that this problem be solved.

The president will also visit the UAE capital next month, as he announced after the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Ankara in December. It is expected that Erdogan’s visit to Saudi Arabia will come immediately after his visit to the UAE and before his return to Turkey.

The rapid restoration of relations between the UAE and Turkey following the visit of the Emirati National Security Adviser, Tahnoun Bin Zayed, to the Turkish capital last August, led to expectations and anticipation for progress in the stalled talks between Ankara, Cairo and Riyadh, in order to accelerate steps towards achieving similar reconciliation between Turkey and Egypt on the one hand, and between Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the other. However, the Turkish president’s announcement of this visit was surprising to many observers, given the absence of positive indicators on the Saudi side regarding imminent improvements in Turkish-Saudi relations.

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© Middle East Monitor