Turkey's Erdogan reveals he will visit Saudi Arabia in February

Turkey's Erdogan reveals he will visit Saudi Arabia in February
2 min read
03 January, 2022
Erdogan said he would visit the kingdom next month and address the problem of Saudi Arabia's ban on Turkish imports.
Erdogan’s comments came on the sidelines of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly, which was held on Monday in Istanbul [Getty]

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed on Monday that he is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia next month, according to comments made by the leader in a video that circulated on social media platforms.

Erdogan's comments came on the sidelines of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly, which was held on Monday in Istanbul.

In the video, the Turkish president was asked - by what appeared to be a Turkish businesswoman - about exporting to Saudi Arabia, which has unofficially suspended imports from Turkey.

Erdogan responded saying he would visit the kingdom next month and address the problem, according to the video.

He did not reveal any further details about the visit, but stated that it will be in February.

Erdogan is also scheduled to visit the UAE following the recent mending of ties between the two countries.

Erdogan's visit to Riyadh would mark the first of its kind between Saudi Arabia and Turkey following years of political tensions between the two regional rivals.

At the conference on Monday, Erdogan announced that his country's exports for 2021 "increased by 32.9 percent compared to the previous year, amounting to $225 billion US dollars". "This is a record," he added.

However, Turkish economists expressed dismay at the rate of exports to Saudi Arabia, which fell to unprecedented levels in the last two years.

In contrast, Saudi exports to Turkey reached historical highs, valued at more than $3 billion in 2021, despite a campaign calling for a ban on Saudi products if Riyadh does not lift its boycott.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads since the 2011 uprisings across the Arab world when Riyadh accused Ankara of supporting Islamist political groups.

Tensions escalated in 2018 over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.