Turkish president visits UAE after a decade of icy relations



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled Monday to the United Arab Emirates, a visit signaling an extra thaw in relations lengthy strained over the 2 nations’ approaches to Islamists within the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring.

Erdogan arrived in Abu Dhabi, the Emirati capital, following a November go to to Turkey by the nation’s de facto chief, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohammed, additionally Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, greeted Erdogan on the airport and oversaw an honor-guard welcome for the Turkish president on the Al-Watan Palace. A thundering gun salute heralded his welcome as each main Emirati minister stood alongside. Later, even digital billboards in Dubai praised the UAE and Turkey’s “strategic” relationship.

Neither Sheikh Mohammed nor Erdogan addressed journalists. The go to marked Erdogan’s first go to to the UAE since 2013.

Earlier than taking off from Turkey, Erdogan stated he hopes his go to advances the “large potential” of commerce between the nations. The UAE is a vital financial marketplace for Turkey and residential to many Turkish residents. He additionally stated Sheikh Mohammed’s earlier go to represented a “new section” of relations between the nations.

Anwar Gargash, a senior Emirati diplomat, equally tweeted that Erdogan’s go to “opens a brand new optimistic web page within the bilateral relations between the 2 nations.”

It “is according to the UAE’s route in the direction of strengthening bridges of communication and cooperation geared toward stability and prosperity within the area,” he wrote.

For the 2 nations, the go to caps a monthslong rapprochement born out of the coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical necessity.

Relations strained largely over Turkey’s help for the Muslim Brotherhood within the area, which the UAE sees as a prime nationwide safety menace that might upend its hereditary rule within the federation of seven sheikhdoms. Ankara suspects the UAE backed a community led by a U.S.-based Turkish Muslim cleric who Turkey accuses of orchestrating a failed coup focusing on Erdogan in 2016.

The 2 nations additionally backed opposing sides in Libya, whereas Dubai turned house to a Turkish gangster whose on-line movies final yr outlined alleged corruption in Erdogan’s Justice and Growth Get together. He is since stopped posting them.

Abu Dhabi has retooled a more-adversarial strategy in coping with regional rivals after largely withdrawing its forces from the warfare in Yemen. After ending its half in a four-nation boycott of Turkish-allied Qatar, the Emirates has sought to fix ties with Ankara amid assaults throughout the area sparked by the collapse of Iran’s nuclear take care of world powers.

In Turkey, the 67-year-old Erdogan faces an financial disaster and a depreciating lira foreign money, one thing economists have blamed on his rate of interest cuts. Decrease rates of interest had spurred financial progress throughout Turkey. Erdogan additionally has grown extra authoritarian in his almost two-decade maintain on energy in Turkey, a rustic of some 84 million folks.

The UAE, house additionally to Dubai, agreed in January to a foreign money swap deal equal to $4.74 billion to spice up Turkey’s depleted international alternate reserves. Throughout Sheikh Mohammed’s breakthrough go to to Turkey final fall, Emirati officers stated the UAE would put aside $10 billion for funding in Turkey.

Erdogan is scheduled to go to Dubai’s Expo 2020 on Tuesday earlier than wrapping up his journey.

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