DUBAI — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured his third term as Turkey’s leader last month, continuing his 20 years of power while embarking on repairing relations with Gulf states, especially the United Arab Emirates, on both the economic and political fronts.
In March, Turkey — the Emirates’ sixth-largest trading partner — and the UAE signed a $40 billion trade agreement over five years that was ratified on May 31 after Erdogan’s reelection. This bilateral economic agreement is simply an expression of the foundational camaraderie between the two countries’ leaders, according to experts.
Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, an Emirati analyst and professor of political science, said this agreement is a reflection of UAE President Mohammed Bin Zayed (MBZ) approach to foreign policy that values personal relationships as a way to develop trust.
“I think they (MBZ and Erdogan) clicked very well in their various meetings that they had. Sheikh Mohammed was expected to go to Ankara, probably next week or so according to reports. … This just shows you how much President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed values friendship as much as the various strategic aspects of the relationship,” the Emirati professor told Al-Monitor.