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 Palace 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.

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”.

Duran said Erdogan would be looking for Saudi assistance in applying pressure on Egypt to ease President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s oppression of the Egyptian opposition.

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

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 Organization 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.

Anadolu Agency