ANKARA (Nov 23, 2018) — The meeting of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may take place if requested by the Saudi side, the foreign minister told the CNN Turk broadcaster Friday.
“There are no obstacles for our president to meet with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. If the Saudi side approaches us with such an initiative, the meeting may take place. Of course, the president has the final word,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
The statement comes after Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday that such meeting could take place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, which will be held on November 30 and December 1.
The summit will be attended by leaders from the US, Turkey and a number of European countries.
Turkey’s relations with Saudi Arabia have become strained after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist and critic of the Saudi government.
Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. After weeks of denials, the Saudi prosecutors acknowledged that the US-based Washington Post columnist had been killed inside the diplomatic mission by rogue intelligence operatives.
On Thursday the Saudi crown prince began a regional tour of the Middle East, starting with the United Arab Emirates – his first official trip abroad since Khashoggi was killed.
In another development, about 200 British military personnel and eight Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon jets have arrived in Saudi Arabia to take part in a joint military exercise.
The RAF described it as a “pre-planned exercise”.
Meanwhile, France has announced that it is imposing sanctions on 18 Saudi nationals – the same individuals targeted with sanctions by the US, UK and Germany – allegedly linked to the Khashoggi murder.