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Erdogan says Turkey, UAE ties improving after rare meeting

Published: Updated:

Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have made progress in improving relations, which could lead to significant UAE investment in Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday after a rare meeting with a senior UAE official.

Ankara has moved to ease tensions with several Arab powers over the conflict in Libya, internal Gulf disputes and rival claims to Eastern Mediterranean waters.

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Erdogan held talks in Ankara on Wednesday with UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan which also focused on economic cooperation.

Turkey’s President Erdogan receives the UAE’s National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Turkey, August 18, 2021. (Turkish Presidency via Twitter)
Turkey’s President Erdogan receives the UAE’s National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Turkey, August 18, 2021. (Turkish Presidency via Twitter)

“We discussed what type of investment could be made in which areas,” Erdogan said in a television interview.

Emirati official Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also described Wednesday’s meeting as “historic and positive”.

“The UAE continues to build bridges...”, he tweeted. “Prioritizing prosperity and development drives both our domestic and foreign policy.”

Turkey last year accused the UAE of bringing chaos to the Middle East through interventions in Libya and Yemen, while the UAE and several other countries criticized Turkey’s military actions.

Erdogan said he hoped to talk with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and for closer economic ties in talks that the heads of Turkey’s Wealth Fund and investment support agency would pursue.

“If they continue in a good way with their counterparts, I believe the United Arab Emirates will make serious investments in our country in a very short time,” Erdogan said.

Wednesday’s meeting came after similar overtures this year by Ankara towards Egypt and Saudi Arabia, aimed at overcoming tensions that have impacted Turkey’s economy.

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