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UAE leader meets Turkeys Erdogan for first time in ten years




The de facto UAE ruler has arrived in Turkey for the first time in nearly a decade, announcing a thaw in one of the region’s most difficult relations and backing the Turkish lira.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, was greeted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a marching band upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, where the two leaders were to discuss investment and politics regional.

The pound, which lost nearly 12% of its value against the dollar on Tuesday amid mounting fears over Erdogan’s management of the economy, rebounded to 10% as markets cheered the prospect of Emirati investments in Turkey at a time when the West’s capital is scarce.

Sinem Cengiz, analyst on Turkish-Gulf relations, described the meeting as a historic moment for the geopolitics of the region. “The visit symbolizes a turning point in Turkey-UAE relations after a ten-year feud,” she said.

The two states have found themselves in opposing conflicts and vying for influence in the region since popular uprisings rocked the Arab world in 2011, and their bitter rivalry spilled over from the oil-rich Gulf to the Horn of the United States. Africa and the conflict in Libya. .

Talks between Erdogan and Sheikh Mohammed, one of the most influential leaders in the Arab world, are yet another sign of a tentative shift towards de-escalation in the Middle East as the election of US President Joe Biden and economic turmoil triggered by the coronavirus pandemic have prompted regional leaders to recalibrate their foreign policy.

The UAE is focused on economic diplomacy as it seeks to boost its post-pandemic recovery, while Erdogan wants to reestablish ties with regional rivals as he faces strained relations with Western powers.

“The two countries realized that after facing each other for 10 years, neither side had dealt a fatal blow and it was time to disengage,” said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, professor of political science based at Dubai.

Turkish authorities hope the high-level visit will boost Emirati investment in their country. “Investors in the United Arab Emirates will be motivated by improving political relations,” said a Turkish official.

The two countries are expected to sign a series of investment agreements in energy, technology and health as well as ports and logistics, according to Turkish public information service TRT. Reuters news agency reported that Turkey’s central bank governor is also meeting with Emirati officials to discuss the possibility of a swap deal that would increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Analysts warn that many of the underlying issues at the heart of their dispute remain unresolved. Relations were strained when Turkey and its Gulf ally Qatar supported the Arab uprisings in 2011. The autocratic monarchies of the UAE and their main ally, Saudi Arabia, saw the revolutions as a threat to the United Arab Emirates. regional stability and their own hold on power.

Abu Dhabi and Ankara have supported opposing sides in the civil war in Libya, and UAE officials have denounced what they perceive to be Turkish interference in Arab affairs.

When Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates imposed a trade and travel embargo on Qatar in 2017, Turkey accelerated the deployment of troops to a military base in Doha in a strong show of support for its closest Arab ally. But tensions began to ease after Saudi Arabia decided to lift the regional boycott of Qatar earlier this year.

In the months that followed, Turkey sought to reach out to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel as well as the United Arab Emirates. Trade and investment have dried up over the past decade due to heightened tensions between Turkey and the UAE. Cengiz said: “The main theme of this approach is economics: realpolitik has won over idealpolitik.




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