DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended a Persian Gulf trip aimed at securing investments by signing agreements worth more than $50 billion in the United Arab Emirates, Emirati state media said Wednesday.
His tour, which also included stops in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, saw Erdogan preside over the signing of lucrative deals to boost the ailing Turkish economy.
Turkey is battling a currency collapse and soaring inflation that have battered its economy.
Ankara has recently repaired relations with Gulf states including the UAE and Saudi Arabia after years of rivalry following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.
Turkish support for organizations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood initially spurred a rupture with Gulf states, which view the movement as a terrorist group.
Relations soured further following a Saudi-led blockade of Turkish ally Qatar by its Gulf Arab neighbors. The embargo was lifted in 2021 but ties with Turkey remained rocky.
With relations improving, Erdogan visited the UAE last year to bolster political and economic ties.
On Wednesday, the Turkish leader flew to the UAE from Qatar, where he met the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Earlier, during his stop in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh signed a major drone procurement contract with a Turkish defense firm. The amount involved was not disclosed.
UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met Erdogan at the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi and attended the signing of agreements and memorandums of understanding “estimated to be worth $50.7 billion,” the official WAM news agency reported.
In March, Turkey and the UAE signed a free-trade agreement that aims to increase bilateral commerce to $40 billion annually within five years.
And last year, the two countries signed a nearly $5 billion currency swap deal to boost Ankara’s dilapidated foreign currency reserves.
Last month, the UAE’s president met Erdogan in Turkey, shortly after the Turkish leader clinched another five-year term in May elections.
Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz also met the Emirati president during a June visit to the UAE.
The diplomatic thaw with the UAE has resulted in increased investment in Turkey.
Erdogan and the UAE leader on Wednesday “reaffirmed their commitment to promoting stability, both within the region and internationally, stating their shared belief in the importance of dialogue and diplomacy as a means of solving disputes and avoiding conflict,” WAM reported.
Both nations “share the same ambitions for stability, economic growth and sustainable progress,” the agency quoted the UAE’s president as saying.
Source : VOANews