After months of secret talks, and high-level telephone conversations, UAE national security adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed al Nahyan met with Ankara President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, once seen as an enemy in Abu Dhabi.
For the past five years, Ankara has publicly accused the United Arab Emirates of funding the failed 2016 coup.
But Wednesday’s meeting was seen as a “new beginning” for the relationship between the two killings, a senior Turkish official told Middle East Eye.
Turkey sees this meeting as an important step. Tahnoun bin Zayed is the UAE’s top official on national intelligence, sensitive foreign policy issues, and intelligence plans. He is also the mother of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the mother and father of Abu Dhabi’s heir apparent Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“We will be able to meet with Mohamed bin Zayed in the coming days,” Erdogan said on Wednesday, adding that the meeting was arranged after talks between the two countries’ intelligence agencies.
“We hope to solve the region’s problems, as we are people of the same culture and religion.”
With the Biden regime now under US control, Turkish officials believe Abu Dhabi is feeling isolated and isolated at a time when it could face a threat from Iran.
“They cannot stand against Tehran alone,” said a Turkish official. “They are terrified of the US withdrawal from the region, and are re-evaluating their positions.”
The UAE’s relations with its closest ally, Saudi Arabia, have also recently deteriorated, with the two kingdoms vying to attract foreign investment and parting ways in a catastrophic war in Yemen.
Riyadh last month banned travel to the United Arab Emirates due to rising Coronavirus cases, a move that Turkish officials see as politically motivated.
A distant game
The UAE has been in Ankara since the beginning of the year. In January, former UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash suggested that relations between the two countries could be improved.
“We have no problem with Turkey, such as border issues and other issues,” he said, adding that if Ankara stopped supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the two countries could be friends.
The UAE then eased the pressure on Turkish businessmen, and resumed flights between Istanbul and Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Turkey, for its part, has recently taken action against the Muslim Brotherhood, including asking Egyptian opposition television in Turkey to suspend popular political programming, a move welcomed by the United Arab Emirates.
It’s time to move on
Erdogan said on Wednesday that he and Tahnoun bin Zayed had drawn up a roadmap for the UAE to invest in Turkey in the future.
The UAE’s non-oil economy fell 6% last year, according to a Turkish official who believes Abu Dhabi sees an economic opportunity in Turkey, which is expected to grow by 5% this year.
Qatar, Turkey’s biggest ally, has also invested billions of dollars in the country.
“The biggest conflict with the Muslim Brotherhood is dead now, because it has no place to rule now,” said another Turkish official.