For the first time in nearly 10 years, Mohammed bin Zayed visits Turkey to meet Erdogan


Turkish media revealed that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will soon visit Turkey to meet its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for the first time in 10 years.

And the newspaper “The Independent”, in the Turkish version, quoted an informed Emirati source, that it is expected that Mohammed bin Zayed, who is considered to be in charge of power in the UAE, will arrive in Turkey on Monday morning to hold talks with Erdogan.

In turn, sources in Ankara, according to the newspaper, expected the visit to take place this week, without specifying a specific date.

And “The Independent” reported that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi intends to discuss with the Turkish President several issues, especially in the fields of economy and bilateral relations between the two countries.

According to the sources, the economy will represent the most important issue in Mohammed bin Zayed’s portfolio, and among the most prominent items that will be discussed is the opening of a trade route between Turkey and the UAE that passes through Iran in order to shorten the duration of commercial flights.

Mohammed bin Zayed made his last official visit to Turkey in February 2012.

The Turkish-Emirati relations have witnessed escalating tension during the past years, against the background of several issues, foremost of which is Turkey’s support for Qatar, the files of Libya, Syria and Yemen, mutual accusations of espionage, and the Emirati authorities’ conclusion of a normalization agreement with Israel.

Later, the political tension eased significantly, as the Turkish President and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi held a phone call on August 30, in which they discussed “bilateral relations and ways to strengthen and develop them to serve the common interests of the two countries and their friendly peoples.”

Two weeks after the call, Erdogan received in Ankara an Emirati delegation headed by the UAE’s National Security Adviser, Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Simultaneously, well-informed officials and sources confirmed that the two countries are working on plans to develop economic cooperation between them, including through Emirati investments in the energy sector in Turkey.

Turkish media reported that Turkey had signed two separate agreements with the UAE and Pakistan regarding a new shipping route to transport goods, shortening the time required for shipping through the Suez Canal to face the crisis of significantly increasing shipping costs in the last period.

While the Sharjah-Mersin road, which uses the Suez Canal, takes 20 days, the new route will be 6 to 8 days.

As for the cruise trips coming from Pakistan to Turkey, which used to require one month, then it will take 10 to 12 days via the land route.

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