Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets Saudi Arabia's King Salman on his first official visit to country amid regional crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presents Order of the State medal to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2016.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presents Order of the State medal to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2016.

Turkey's president met Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Ankara on Tuesday on the king's first official visit to Turkey.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman discussed bilateral issues as well as regional matters, particularly the conflict in Syria, a presidential source said under usual conditions of anonymity.

The meeting at the Presidential Complex saw both leaders agree to maintain current levels of cooperation between the regional powers as well as to step up economic ties, particularly investment.

Earlier, Erdogan presented the monarch with the Order of the State, Turkey's highest award to foreigners.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia pays his first official visit to Turkey at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2016. (AA)
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia pays his first official visit to Turkey at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2016. (AA)

Commenting on the visit, analysts told Anadolu Agency that regional problems such as Syria and Iran'’s growing influence were likely to lead discussions.

Burhanettin Duran, a political scientist at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, said the two countries would attempt to overcome obstacles by “strengthening bilateral relations”.

He added that the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia had not reached a “strategic dimension” but were “proceeding in the right way”.

Saban Kardas, president of the Centre for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies, said Turkish-Saudi relations had been solidified under King Salman, who came to the throne in January last year.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2016. (AA)
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2016. (AA)

Saudi Arabia's search for allies has been underlined by the kingdom’s military intervention in Yemen, he said. Iran’s rehabilitation following this year’s nuclear deal has also triggered the need for alliances.

One the economic front, Duran said Saudi Arabia and Turkey were both seeking cooperation in areas such as agriculture and tourism.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz's official visit to Ankara before an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit hosted by Turkey is expected to take positive relations between the two countries to an important level.

The OIC summit is to be held in Istanbul on April 14 and 15. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host the event.

Source: TRT World