King Salman discusses regional developments with Turkey’s Erdogan

King Salman meets Turkish President Erdogan.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud held at Al-Yammamh Palace a session of official talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Republic of Turkey.

During the session of talks, they reviewed bilateral relations and aspects of cooperation between the two brotherly countries.

They also discussed the latest developments at the regional and international arenas.

The session of talks was attended by a number of princes, ministers and senior officials.

President of the Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdogan had arrived in Riyadh on Monday, on an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

At King Khalid International Airport, he was received by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The Turkish leader was received also by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Region, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador to Turkey Walid Al-Khiraiji and his counterpart to the Kingdom Yunus Demirer, in addition to senior, civil and military, officials.

Before beginning his Gulf trip in Bahrain on Sunday, Erdogan said Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies had entered the center of Al-Bab, ISIS’ last stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

In Bahrain, Saudi Arabia’s island neighbor and close ally, Erdogan met King Hamad and other officials.

In April last year Salman visited Erdogan, who awarded him a rare honour, the Order of State.

Turkey then began hosting Saudi warplanes at its Incirlik air base as part of the US-led coalition against ISIS jihadists, who are among an array of factions fighting in Syria.

Ankara has taken on an increasingly important role with Moscow and Iran as a powerbroker in the Syria conflict.

In January Turkey, along with Assad allies Russia and Iran, sponsored talks in Kazakhstan between Syrian rebels and government officials.

There was no breakthrough, but Kazakhstan has proposed another round in Astana this Wednesday and Thursday, before United Nations-sponsored peace talks resume in Geneva on February 23.

On Monday in Manama, Erdogan called for a “safe zone” in northern Syria where people displaced by the war could go.

The positions of Saudi Arabia and Turkey are “absolutely identical” on Syria, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said last week in Ankara.

He attended the first meeting of a coordination council to enhance ties between the two countries.

Both Riyadh and Ankara are hoping for better relations with Washington under President Donald Trump.

For Turkey, ties were strained under Barack Obama because of Washington’s support for Syrian Kurdish militia, which Ankara views as “terrorist” groups.

Saudi Arabia felt Obama was reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria and was tilting towards its Shiite-dominated regional rival Iran.

From Riyadh, Erdogan on Tuesday will journey to Qatar, with which Turkey has maintained strong ties for years. Qatar also hosts a Turkish military base.

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