Diplomatically isolated Turkish President Erdogan reconnects with UAE

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was greeted by the monarchy's strongman Mohammed Bin Zayed at Abu Dhabi Airport in the United Arab Emirates on February 14, 2022.  Photo provided by the Press Service of the Turkish Presidency.

Announcement of the opening“a new page” Turkey’s Diplomatic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th February for an official visit, where he received full honors from Mohammed Ben Zayed the Strong Man of the United Arab Emirates, was received monarchy, received him personally at the airport.

Guard of honour, volley of cannons, posters extolling the “strategic” partnership between the two countries, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, nicknamed “MBZ”, placed the dishes in the big ones to receive his host and confirmed the thaw entering the Relations had intervened between the two countries after years of estrangement.

In Dubai, the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, lit up in the colors of the Emirati and Turkish flags to mark the visit of the Turkish President, whose last stay in the Emirates dates back to 2013 when he was only the first minister.

A blessing for Ankara

His visit follows that of “MBZ” in November 2021 in Ankara, which announced at the time the establishment of an investment fund of around 9 billion euros to support Turkish companies amid economic difficulties.

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On Monday, the two leaders proceeded to sign thirteen cooperation agreements in various fields ranging from health to petrochemicals, including transport. A memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the defense industries of both countries was also signed, focusing in particular on the production of drones.

The spectacular fall of the Turkish lira, which lost 45% of its value against the dollar in 2021, creates unprecedented opportunities for Emirati investors looking to buy stakes in devalued Turkish companies.

The Turkish government is battling runaway inflation (50%), which is penalizing the middle class and tarnishing the country’s reputation, whose credit rating was downgraded again by financial ratings Fitch Ratings just this weekend.

Emirates investments in Turkey are a boon for Mr Erdogan. At the end of 2020, they reached almost 4.4 billion euros, compared to 312 million euros of Turkish investments in the Emirates. According to the Emirati agency WAM, the volume of bilateral trade in the first half of 2021 was more than 6.3 billion euros, which represents a growth of 100% compared to the same period in 2020.

In January, Abu Dhabi flew to Turkey’s aid by striking a $4.74 billion foreign exchange deal with Ankara to replenish Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves, which had fallen to an all-time low.

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