Turkiye and Saudi Arabia discussed expanding trade as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to repair bilateral ties and attract more foreign investment for his country’s beleaguered economy. Turkish Trade Minister Omer Bolat met with his Saudi counterpart, Majid Al-Qasabi, in Jaipur, India,on the sidelines of a meeting of trade ministers of G-20 nations, according to a statement from the Turkish Trade Ministry released on Saturday. Rapprochement between Turkiye and Saudi Arabia fits in with the kingdom’s efforts to boost economic ties with developing states to expand its influence. BRICS leaders this week invited Saudi Arabia join the bloc along with some other countries, including Iran.
Ties between Turkiye and Saudi Arabia were frozen following the 2018 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul, but Erdogan has made improvements over the past two years. Riyadh agreed to resume imports of Turkish meat and dairy products after the Turkish leader met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia in July. “We assessed specific steps that can be taken on issues such as bilateral trade, contracting services, cooperation opportunities within the scope of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision,” Bolat said in the Turkish ministry statement. “We believe that we will further develop our commercial relations in line with the high-level cooperation between our countries.” Turkiye recently has also been pursuing better relations with other Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, and Bolat also discussed ways to increase investment and trade with Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade, his office said.