Speaker of the Turkish Parliament determined to improve relations between UAE and Turkey

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are highly motivated to develop bilateral ties with Turkey, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said Thursday.

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are highly motivated to develop bilateral ties with Turkey, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said Thursday.

Şentop met on Thursday with Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy prime minister and interior minister of UAE, in Abu Dhabi to discuss bilateral ties.

Accompanied by a Turkish parliamentary delegation, Şentop and Sheikh Saif discussed their expectations on bilateral relations.

During the meeting, the two sides expressed their wish to further develop commercial and economic ties.

Underlining the deep-rooted historical bond between the two countries, Şentop said both nations sought close relations and cooperation.

Şentop later set off for Dubai to visit the Turkish, Emirati and Azerbaijani stands at Expo 2020.

Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi later on Thursday, Şentop said the two countries would soon take their existing relations to a much higher level.

Turkey and the UAE can work together in many areas, including in commerce and the economy, said Şentop, underlining the sides had the capacity to contribute to regional peace by working together.

Şentop arrived in the UAE late on Wednesday, after his visit to Qatar.

Earlier, he had held bilateral and inter-delegation talks with Saqr Ghobash, head of the Federal National Council of the UAE, as part of his official visit to the country.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to pay an official visit to the UAE in mid-February.

Erdoğan in November hosted Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), as Turkey and the UAE seek to repair their relations and increase economic cooperation. The visit by the crown prince, seen as the de facto leader and the force behind the UAE’s foreign policy posture, was his first official trip to Turkey since 2012 and the highest-level visit by an Emirati official since relations hit a low as the countries have battled for regional influence and backed opposing sides in conflicts.

Turkish officials described MBZ's visit as the "beginning of a new era" following years of hostility after Ankara blamed the UAE for financing the 2016 coup plotters in Turkey and undermining Turkish interests in Libya. The UAE media also said that the visit will carry the relations between Turkey and Arab countries into a new period. During the visit, Turkey and the UAE signed bilateral cooperation agreements in numerous fields, including trade, energy and the environment. The UAE also allocated a $10 billion (TL 134.17 billion) fund to invest in Turkey.

The crown prince’s visit to Turkey is viewed as part of a wider effort by the UAE to recalibrate its foreign policy following an unsuccessful attempt to isolate fellow Gulf state Qatar in 2017. Turkey, an ally of Qatar, rushed to support Doha amid an embargo imposed by the UAE and three Arab states. Turkey has since deepened its military ties with Qatar. The Arab quartet at the time demanded a series of reversals by Qatar, including the expulsion of Turkish troops, but Doha rejected the demands, which it saw as violations of its sovereignty. The dispute was resolved earlier this year with an agreement signed in Saudi Arabia.

Turkey is also engaged in an effort to mend its frayed ties through intensified diplomacy with regional powers, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after years of tensions. Erdoğan had reiterated that Turkey hopes to maximize cooperation with Egypt and Gulf nations "on a win-win basis."