Turkey’s president arrives in UAE for trade talks

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Monday for his first official visit in nine years, building on a rapprochement between the two countries after a decade-long feud in the wake of the Arab uprising.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s de facto ruler, met Erdogan in the capital Abu Dhabi ahead of further talks in Dubai on Tuesday at the site of the Expo 2020 world fair, which are aimed at doubling bilateral trade flows.

On the first day of the president’s visit, the two nations signed 13 co-operation agreements, said the state-owned Turkish news agency Anadolu.

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE was keen “to strengthen this partnership and push it forward during the coming period to double the volume of trade exchanges between the two nations”, according to the Emirati official news agency.

Other deals span sectors such as agriculture, transport and media. There should also be an expression of intent to start defence co-operation meetings, according to Turkish state media.

Erdogan said the two countries would seek to develop trade and seek opportunities in “the complementary structures” of their economies.

Relations between Turkey and the UAE deteriorated as they competed for influence across the region after the popular uprisings that rocked the Arab world in 2011. Their bitter rivalry reverberated from the oil-rich Gulf through the Horn of Africa to the conflict in Libya, where Abu Dhabi and Ankara backed opposing sides.

But Erdogan’s visit this week consolidates a recent diplomatic thaw between the Middle Eastern powers. Sheikh Mohammed travelled to Ankara in November and pledged $10bn of Emirati investment, a welcome boost for the Turkish economy which has been plunged into turmoil amid soaring inflation.

As the Gulf monarchy plots a path out of the pandemic, it has been refocusing on economic development through partnership agreements that aim to boost trade and investment. Turkey, which has fraught relations with western powers, has also been keen to ease tensions with its regional neighbours.

The UAE has been conducting trade talks with a host of countries, including India, Israel and Indonesia. Free trade talks with the UK have been conducted under the umbrella of the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council. Bilateral negotiations have also recently opened with the Philippines and Georgia.

The UAE is expected to sign a trade pact with India later this week, while deals Israel and Indonesia could follow before the end of March.

Additional reporting by Laura Pitel in Ankara

hello, I am Flora Khan and i work journalist in allnewshouse website i work in other sites like forbes and washington post with 5 years in experience.

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