Turkey, UAE say they want deeper cooperation, trade after Dubai talks

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Turkey and the United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday they aim to deepen cooperation after talks in Dubai between the Turkish foreign minister and the UAE’s prime minister, as the rivals step up diplomacy to mend ties strained by years of animosity.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in the UAE on Monday to discuss bilateral relations and meet Turkish businesspeople in Dubai, the region’s trade and tourism hub.

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The visit comes after Turkey and the UAE signed accords and deals at talks in Ankara last month, in a move President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said would herald a “new era” in relations.

The Dubai Media Office said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the ruler of Dubai and the UAE’s vice president and prime minister, met Cavusoglu to discuss “strengthening cooperation between the UAE and Turkey and developing frameworks to collaborate on all areas of common interest.”

On Tuesday, Cavusoglu met Turkish businesspeople in Dubai, who he said “play a big role in developing commercial ties with the UAE.” He said after meeting Sheikh Mohammed that Turkey and the UAE “will further develop our economic and commercial relations.”

Dealings between Turkey and the UAE have been strained over the role of radical groups in the tumult following 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, and the countries were on opposite sides in Libya’s conflict.

Ankara had previously accused the UAE of financing a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 and of sowing chaos in the region with its involvement in Yemen, while Abu Dhabi has criticized Turkey’s military operations in the region.

As part of a charm offensive launched last year, Turkey has also moved to repair ties with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but those talks have yielded little public improvement. Abu Dhabi has also accelerated a push to ease regional conflicts and refocus on the economy.

Erdogan has said he plans to visit Abu Dhabi in February.

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