Turkish president Erdoğan holds phone call with Saudi King Salman

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made a phone call to King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia to discuss relations between the two countries, state-run Anadolu agency reported on Tuesday.

Turkey is seeking to improve relations with Saudi Arabia after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018, Turkish Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın told Reuters on Monday.

Erdoğan criticized Riyadh for taking part in joint military exercises with Greece, Turkey’s main rival in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkish officials slammed Saudi Arabia’s attendance at a forum in Athens in February featuring defence ministers from France, Greece, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

In October last year, Saudis launched an unofficial campaign to boycott the Turkish goods which still remains in force.

Saudi Arabia also announced that it will close eight more schools affiliated to the Turkish education authority, state-run Anadolu agency reported last week.

In the meantime, Ankara also recently started talking again with Egypt after years of icy relations following Cairo’s 2013 coup against Turkey-backed Muslim Brotherhood government.

Turkish Foreign Affairs on Tuesday issued a statement that said exploratory talks between Turkey and Egypt would be held on May 5-6  in Cairo under the supervision of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Sedat Önal and Egyptian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Hamdi Sanad Loza.

The steps to be taken towards normalizing the relations between the two countries in bilateral and regional context will be addressed in these exploratory talks, Turkish Foreign Affairs said.