UAE's crown prince Nahyan, Turkey's Erdogan hold 'friendly' call

The defacto ruler of the United Arab Emirates held a “positive and friendly” call with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss bilateral ties, the latest sign of a rapid thaw between the two countries which have been locked in regional feuds.
Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L) shakes hands with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in this file picture from 2012. (REUTERS)
Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L) shakes hands with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in this file picture from 2012. (REUTERS)
Published on Aug 31, 2021 02:38 PM IST
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Bloomberg |

The defacto ruler of the United Arab Emirates held a “positive and friendly” call with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss bilateral ties, the latest sign of a rapid thaw between the two countries which have been locked in regional feuds. 

The contact between Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was very positive and friendly according to Anwar Gargash, a UAE presidential diplomatic adviser in comments on Twitter Tuesday. It was in line with the UAE’s desire to “build bridges, maximize common goals and work together with friends” to ensure stability and regional prosperity, he wrote.  

The call comes after a surprise meeting between Erdogan and the UAE’s national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan earlier this month that discussed boosting investments and seemed to cap years of hostile rhetoric between the two countries which have been locked in proxy conflicts from Libya to Syria for nearly a decade. UAE officials have spoken about the need to shore up Middle East ties as Washington draws back from the region and seeks to revive nuclear diplomacy with Iran. 

At home Erdogan’s poll ratings have hit an all-time low this year amid disenchantment with the Turkish government’s handling of the economy. At the same time the UAE started to hold out the promise of better ties that could benefit trade. 

Sheikh Tahnoun is the chairman of International Holding Co., which is one of the UAE’s most valuable listed firms. The company is weighing investment opportunities in Turkey, Reuters reported last week. Tahnoun, who is the brother of Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, also chairs Abu Dhabi’s newest sovereign fund, ADQ, which has amassed an estimated $110 billion in assets since being founded in 2018. It recently joined a funding round for Turkish e-commerce company Trendyol. 

Read More: Gulf Reaches Out to Erdogan in Wary Move to Ease Tensions

So far, though, investments have been largely tentative due to longstanding tensions stemming from Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood -- an Islamist political organization viewed as a threat by the UAE’s rulers. Turkey and the UAE have been on opposing sides of a proxy war in Libya and have disagreed on issues ranging from Syria to Iraq and the eastern Mediterranean. 

The UAE has also moved to mend ties with Qatar, which has counted on the support from Turkey during a near three-year feud with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt.

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