Following a 5-day trip to Egypt, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman visited Turkey, a key ally in the struggle to defeat the self-described ISIS in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
King Salman met today with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and will stay in Ankara until Wednesday, and then will travel to Istanbul for the 13th annual meeting with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit.
Turkey decorated King Salman with the country’s highest state medal in recognition of the close ties between the two countries.
Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Saudi Arabia share the goal of ousting President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria as part of a wider solution to end the 5-year old conflict there.
According to The Guardian, the King’s security was tight. An advance team of 300 Saudi security officials was sent to Ankara to prepare for the king’s arrival. Every room in the five-star JW Marriott hotel was booked to accommodate the King and secure his entourage. The windows of the 450-sqare meter King Suite in the hotel “were covered with bulletproof glass and the walls were plastered with bomb-resistant cement at a cost of $10m (£7m),” the Guardian said, citing local media.