Turkey is in talks with the United Arab Emirates over investment in its energy sector, Turkey’s deputy energy minister said on Tuesday, after the sides called a truce on their bitter rivalry.
After contacts between intelligence and government officials eased tensions, the UAE this month said it was seeking deeper trade and economic ties with Turkey and seven other countries as it looks to defend its global business hub status after the pandemic.
Turkish deputy energy minister Alparslan Bayraktar told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday there had been talks with the UAE about investment in Turkish energy projects. He did not disclose which specific projects, but said the Emiratis had previously considered power generation.
Further talks were expected on Wednesday, Bayraktar said, when he is to meet UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.
“There are so many areas where we can cooperate,” he said.
A UAE government official could not immediately be reached for comment on the Turkish official’s remarks. An Emirati official told Reuters earlier this month the Gulf state could invest in Turkey’s energy sector, among other areas.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan last month spoke with UAE de facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the countries try to put their deep political differences aside.
Turkey and the UAE have competed for regional influence over the last decade, backing rival groups in Middle East conflicts with Turkey supporting Islamist movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood that the UAE’s dynastic rulers perceive as a political and security threat.
Along with Turkey, the UAE has also taken steps to mend strained ties with Gulf neighbor Qatar, while saying it wants its foreign policy to serve its economic interests.
Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Saad Al Kaabi, who was also at the Dubai conference, described UAE-Qatar relations to reporters as good, but declined to comment on whether any energy discussions were underway with the UAE.
Qatari gas is pumped via a pipeline through the UAE.
Kaabi’s appearance at the conference was the most high profile visit to the UAE by a Qatari official since the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Doha in 2017.
The dispute ended in January this year.
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