Turkish defence minister to pay first visit to UAE in 15 years

Turkey’s national defence minister Hulusi Akar is scheduled to pay an official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday at the invitation of his Emirati counterpart, state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reported on Sunday citing Turkish defence sources.

The Turkish defence minister and his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi will discuss bilateral and regional issues including military education cooperation and defence industry issues, Turkish defence sources told AA.

Akar's landmark visit will mark the first official visit by a Turkish defence minister to the UAE in 15 years.

Turkey and the UAE are seeking to repair their relations, damaged by Ankara’s support for political Islamic groups in the region and the conflict in Libya, where the two countries have backed opposing sides.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the UAE, travelled to Turkey in November in the first high-level visit since 2012 to sign a series of agreements in the economy and trade. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai in February, when 13 further deals were signed. 

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