Turkish, Saudi leaders speak by phone ahead of G20 summit

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman by phone ahead of the G-20 virtual summit hosted by the kingdom, the president’s office said Saturday.

The leaders discussed improving relations between the two countries, the statement said.

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Ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia deteriorated sharply after the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, adding to tensions over Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, viewed by Riyadh as a terrorist group.

"President Erdogan and King Salman agreed to keep channels of dialogue open to improve bilateral ties and overcome issues," the Turkish presidency said.

Saudi Arabia is hosting the virtual meeting of G-20 leaders on Saturday and Sunday in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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