Jun 23, 2022 04:06 UTC

Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman took another step toward breaking his international isolation by paying his first visit to Turkey since the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.

Saudi crown prince Bin Salman, who is commonly referred to by his initials MBS, arrived in Ankara on Wednesday for the first time in years, where he is slated to hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In April, Erdogan dashed off to Saudi Arabia after a months-long efforts to mend relations between the two estranged countries. His decision to revive ties with one of his biggest rivals was also driven in large part by economics and trade.

Erdogan’s unconventional economic approach has set off an inflationary spiral that has seen consumer prices almost double in the past year. But his administration is now drumming up investment and central bank assistance from the very countries it opposed.

Turkey faces its worst economic crisis in two decades and is trying to draw investments from wealthy Arab states of Persian Gulf region. It has also taken steps to improve relations with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and the Israeli regime.

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh cratered after a Saudi hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi’s body with an electric saw in 2018 at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, on the direct orders of MBS.

The killing of Khashoggi sparked global outrage and put pressure on the Saudi prince, who had approved the operation to kill or capture Khashoggi.