Erdoğan holds talks with UAE leader in sign of thaw between bitter rivals

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke on the phone with the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in a further sign of improving relations between the regional rivals.

Turkey and the UAE have accused each other of destabilising the region through interventions in countries such as Libya and Yemen, while the UAE has sided with Greece in its spat with Turkey over territory in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Relations between the countries and regional issues were discussed in the talks,” Erdoğan’s office said in a statement, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The two leaders reviewed the prospects of reinforcing relations in a way that serves their common interests and their two peoples, the UAE’s official WAM news agency said.

“Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's phone call with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed was very positive and friendly,”  UAE presidential diplomatic adviser Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

During the phone call, Erdoğan and bin Zayed discussed bilateral relations and regional developments, according to Turkish Communications Directorate.

Erdoğan said the two countries had been in contact for several months at the intelligence level that helped reach the current level, state-run Turkish Anadolu news agency said.

He added the UAE would soon make “serious investments” in Turkey.

The negotiations followed a meeting two weeks ago between Erdoğan and UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Those talks focused on cooperation in economic affairs and investment, according to official statements.

Diplomatic relations between Ankara and Abu Dhabi soured after Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party started supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, a pan-Islamist political organisation, during the Arab Spring, a series of anti-government protests that spread across the Arab world. The UAE views the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

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