Tense relations between Turkey and UAE improve – The Jerusalem Post – .

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Tense relations between Turkey and UAE improve – The Jerusalem Post – .


A rare phone call between the de facto UAE ruler and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late last month provided another sign that relations between the two Muslim countries are enjoying a major improvement after years of tension.

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The appeal was preceded by a visit to Erdogan by UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, during a senior Emirati official’s highest-level public visit to Turkey for years. The two countries disagreed on several issues.

Last year, then UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash lambasted Turkey’s policy in the region and accused it of meddling in Gulf affairs, lamenting the ” threatening behavior ”from Ankara and the“ colonialist illusions ”about Libya.

Meanwhile, Turkey accused the UAE last year of sowing chaos in the Middle East through its interventions in Yemen and Libya.

Ankara and Abu Dhabi have found themselves at the opposite end of several conflicts in the region. Ali Baker, an Ankara-based political analyst and researcher, said The media line the two countries are reorganizing their policies.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finds allies in his fight against Iran. In Abu Dhabi, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (right) and in Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM / THE JERUSALEM POST / REUTERS)

“Obviously, they put their interests first here. The United Arab Emirates, in particular, are trying to cut their regional losses and find a place to play under the new rules. Baker believes the UAE’s policy change towards Turkey is “definitely tactical.”

“However, from a Turkish perspective, Ankara has never targeted the United Arab Emirates or placed Abu Dhabi at the top of its foreign policy agenda. On the contrary, Turkey has an interest in strengthening economic and diplomatic relations with all actors, ”he added.

At one point, the two nations became staunch enemies, using their media to relentlessly attack each other’s policies.

Their rivalry has put them at odds on several issues, including the Muslim Brotherhood; the conflict in Libya, where the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have supported opposing camps; and Tunisia, to name a few.

At one point, Ankara accused Abu Dhabi of supporting what it called terrorist organizations that target Turkey.

And in 2017, Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Qatar, which the UAE joined after accusing Doha of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and being too close to Iran. Ankara has publicly supported Doha.

But observers say that with a new US administration and Washington’s withdrawal from the region, adversaries are now trying to restructure their relationship.

Hussein Ibish, senior resident researcher at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, said The media line that he is not surprised by recent developments in relations between the two countries.

“This dialogue is part of what, since last December, I have been calling a period of consolidation, withdrawal and maneuver in the Middle East for all the powers trying to project their influence at the regional level,” he said. .

Ibish argues that governments that have found themselves embroiled in several regional conflicts in an attempt to “expand their hegemony” have not fully achieved their goals and “are overburdened and exhausted.”

“These regional conflicts are all either mostly won by one side or the other, either deadlocked or past the point of diminishing returns for outside powers,” he said.

It is natural that Abu Dhabi and Ankara “engage in a dialogue since all regional powers are now seeing what can be accomplished through diplomacy, trade and soft power,” Ibish said.

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