Turkey continues to make strides in its efforts to forge closer ties with regional leaders. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has for years earned a hard-earned reputation for its foreign policy, but recent months seem to indicate a change of trend in Ottoman strategy, which aims to show a friendlier face. In addition to the visit of Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, to Turkey, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is now visiting the UAE. This is a new episode in the rapprochement between the two countries, which seem to understand each other better and better.
On this occasion, the setting for the meeting was Shati Palace, where bin Zayed and Cavusoglu met to strengthen ties between Abu Dhabi and Ankara. The Turkish minister conveyed President Erdogan's wishes for growth and prosperity, to which the Emirati sheikh reciprocated with a message of stability and development for the people of Turkey. Investment and economic cooperation issues were discussed during the meeting, as well as political issues in a sensitive context of regional disputes also addressed by the Emirates during the 42nd summit of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) in Riyadh.
Both representatives agreed that there is unfinished business in terms of cooperation. Both Turkey and the UAE want to deepen relations that they believe can be of great benefit to both countries. Turkish participation in the Dubai Expo 2020 was highly appreciated by the Emiratis, whose event is playing a key role in aligning visions between countries and seeking cooperation on sustainable development in the international community. This goal of sustainability is considered one of the most important in the face of global challenges such as Climate Change.
This was discussed at a meeting attended by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Special Affairs Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. The meeting in the Emirates follows the Abu Dhabi crown prince's first visit to Turkey in 10 years, strengthening relations that already got a major boost on Turkish soil with the Emiratis agreeing to inject $10 billion into Turkey.
Investments in energy and technology are the focus of the UAE's billion-dollar investment in Turkey. The capital's investment fund, Abu Dhabi Development Holding (ADQ), has also closed a deal in banking, healthcare, ports and logistics cooperation, in addition to what is expected to be a major infrastructure investment with the Turkish Wealth Fund (TWF). This capital injection is a lifeline for Ankara given the current state of the Turkish lira and its continued slump on international markets.
The estrangement that for so many years prevented cooperation between the Emirates and Turkey is coming to an end, driven in large part by the needs left by the passage of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the world's economies. And not only that. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is living his lowest hours since becoming Turkey's president in August 2014 and sees foreign investment as one of his only alternatives to turn the country's economic situation around. The president has seen a strong ally in the Emirates and there seems to be no better option than the regional leader to boost the Turkish economy.