DUBAI, UAE – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday to pay tribute to the late ruler of the federation and congratulate his successor, deepening relations between the two countries following bitter rivalries over the 2011 Arab uprising.
In an unimaginable scenario just a decade ago, Erdogan pulled Sheikh Mohammed for a big hug as relations between the two countries soured over Turkey’s support for Islamist groups in the Middle East.
Erdogan’s visit on Tuesday marked his second visit to the UAE this year. Turkey, diplomatically isolated and desperate for foreign exchange and investment, wants to repair the fence with old enemies – most recently with Saudi Arabia.
Since the coronavirus epidemic and the American withdrawal from the region, the UAE has similarly changed its foreign policy, a bloody war with rivals that has helped stabilize Yemen and Libya, and Iran moving forward with its nuclear program.
During Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to Ankara last autumn, the UAE pledged 10 10 billion to invest in Turkey. In the United Arab Emirates, before Erdogan’s first state visit in nine years in February, the countries agreed to exchange the equivalent of about $ 5 billion. The volume of trade last year increased by 54% compared to 2020.
This is a complete change since the popular uprising of 2011. Gulf Arab states are angry that Turkey has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood, which they consider a terrorist group. Turkey and the United Arab Emirates supported the opposition in the Libyan civil war and the boycott of Saudi-led Qatar, competing for influence across the region.
Erdogan was the latest celebrity to fly in oil-rich Abu Dhabi to pay his respects. In a dramatic display of UAE influence abroad, an extraordinary array of presidents, prime ministers and princes have descended on Sheikhdam over the past few days to pay their respects and appreciate the legacy.