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Erdogan says Turkey continuing 'positive dialogue' with Saudi Arabia

16 Feb, 2022
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently visited UAE. Reuters/File
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently visited UAE. Reuters/File

Turkey is continuing a "positive dialogue" with Saudi Arabia and wants to take concrete steps in the coming days to improve ties, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited as saying on Wednesday, amid a regional charm offensive by Turkey to mend strained relations.

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh have been troubled since the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Following Turkish demands for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials to be prosecuted, Riyadh imposed an unofficial boycott on goods from Turkey.

In 2020, Saudi Arabia jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years for Khashoggi's murder. At the time Ankara said the verdict fell short of expectations, but has since softened its tone as part of a broader attempt to repair ties with the Gulf, even going as far as saying it has no problems with Riyadh.

"We are continuing our positive dialogue with Saudi Arabia. We want to continue by taking concrete steps in the coming period. We want to develop the process in a positive direction," Erdogan told reporters on a flight back from the United Arab Emirates.