Turkish president Erdogan departs UAE after first state visit since 2013

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Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan has departed the United Arab Emirates after his first state visit in almost a decade in which the two countries bolstered economic and defense ties, the UAE’s official WAM news agency said.

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The leader met Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on Monday to sign a slew of agreements.

He also paid a visit to Expo 2020 in Dubai on Tuesday where he was welcomed bythe Emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Erdogan’s visit comes after years of strained relations between the two countries, which deteriorated in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring. His last trip to the UAE took place in 2013.

He praised the Expo’s themes that aim to promote sustainability on his visit to the world fair.

“The disasters and new challenges faced by the world, especially in environment and health, lead us to seek solutions together,” he said in a statement carried by WAM.

“Achieving sustainability in all areas from agriculture to energy, from environment to economy is a priority goal.”

The agreements signed between the Turkish president and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince covered a plethora of sectors.

These included: Defense, healthcare, climate change, industry, technology, culture, agriculture, trade, economy, youth, transportation, disaster management, meteorology, communication, and archiving, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.

Tuesday marked Turkey’s Expo ‘National Day,’ featuring traditional music and dance.

Al Arabiya English’s Amani Hamad contributed to this report

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