Erdogan in UAE
The Turkish President was received by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Image Credit: @trpresidency

The two-day visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the UAE is a significant development in the steadily thriving ties between the two countries and the pursuit to achieve peace and stability in the region.

It is the first visit of the Turkish leader to the UAE in 10 years and comes three months after the landmark November visit to Ankara by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The reciprocal visits signal a move in the relationship between the two regional powerhouses to a strategic level.

Ahead of his departure to Abu Dhabi, President Erdogan said regional issues would be high on his agenda. “We will discuss regional matters, our relations will be very important for the entire region,” he explained.

His statement was echoed by Dr. Anwar Gargash, the Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, who stressed that the visit “opens a new positive page in the bilateral relations between the two countries, and is in line with the UAE’s direction towards strengthening bridges of communication and cooperation aimed at stability and prosperity in the region.”

The visit will have a strong bilateral and strategic element, which will take the ties to new heights. The UAE is already Turkey’s leading trade partner regionally with a trade volume of more than Dh26.4 billion ($7.9 billion) in the first half of 2021, a massive 10 per cent increase over the same period in 2020.

In November, the UAE also announced plans to set up a $10 billion investment fund in Turkey, which focuses on strategic investments in the energy, health and food sectors. Currently, nearly 400 UAE companies do business in Turkey, mainly in real estate sector, tourism, and banking.

President Erdogan’s visit will see that relationship leaping forward as the two countries sign more agreements to add to the 10 agreements, in security, trade and technology, inked last year during Sheikh Mohamed’s visit.

The UAE and Turkey are key players in this region. To achieve the long elusive peace and stability in a region, where conflicts continue to rage in several countries, the Middle East needs the collaboration of key players such as these two nations along with Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

A strong relationship between the UAE and Turkey, and a closer perspective towards regional problems will help achieve the stability and prosperity the people of this region aspire to.

The November visit by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed to Turkey was a milestone in the historic relations between the two nations. It opened the door wide to further cooperation.

President Erdogan’s visit underlines the strategic depth of these relations and their importance to both peoples and the region in general.