July 18 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The authorities of Saudi Arabia and Turkey have signed several agreements, including one for the purchase of Turkish drones by Riyadh, as part of the official visit that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been making to the Arab country since Monday.
Erdogan was received by the Saudi crown prince, Mohamed bin Salmán, for a meeting in which they discussed bilateral relations, the possibilities of bilateral cooperation and the situation at the international and regional level, according to the Saudi state news agency, SPA.
Within the framework of it, both delegations signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation at the energy level, a plan for cooperation between defense, research and development industries; a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in direct investments, another to cooperate at the media level and two contracts with the Turkish company Baykar, specialized in the manufacture of drones.
The Saudi Defense Minister, Khalid bin Salmán al Saud, has indicated in a message on his account on the social network Twitter that Saudi Arabia “will buy drones with the aim of improving the readiness of the Armed Forces and increasing their defense and manufacturing capabilities “.
Erdogan has traveled to the Saudi city of Jeddah at the head of a delegation made up of some 200 businessmen to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, as part of a tour of the region that will also take him to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). .
The trip takes place amid the improvement of bilateral relations between Turkey and the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, damaged by the outbreak of the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011, especially by Ankara’s support for the Islamist organization Muslim brothers.
Relations worsened as a result of the boycott of Qatar – an ally of Turkey – in 2017 by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, a situation that came to an end in 2021, and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashogi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Finally, the Turkish court that handled the case of the murder of the journalist, who worked for the American newspaper ‘The Washington Post’, abandoned the case in June 2022 after sending it to a Saudi court, a step that helped unfreeze relations between the two. countries.
The judicial process in Saudi Arabia concluded in September 2020 when, after the appeals process, eight people were sentenced to prison terms, thus reducing the death sentence handed down in December 2019 against five of them.
For her part, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, who carried out an investigation into the case, said in June 2019 that the evidence suggests that Bin Salmán and other senior officials would be responsible for the murder. She later called the final rulings “a travesty of justice.”