Abu Dhabi crown prince to visit Turkey after years of tension: Sources

Turkish sources told Reuters that Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan will visit Turkey this month. Erdoğan and Sheikh Mohammed will discuss bilateral ties, trade, regional developments and investments, one of the Turkish officials said.

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan arrives at Downing Street, London, Britain, September 16, 2021.


Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE's de facto ruler, will visit Turkey for the first time in years as the regional rivals work to repair frayed ties, two Turkish officials said on Nov. 15.

The visit, which will include talks with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is scheduled to take place as soon as Nov. 24, the officials said.

Turkey and the UAE have been battling for influence in the Middle East since the Arab uprisings erupted a decade ago. They have supported opposing sides in Libya's civil war, and their disputes extended to the eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf, before Ankara started a charm offensive in the region last year.

In August, Erdoğan said Turkey and the UAE had made progress in improving ties, which could lead to significant investment in Turkey, after a rare meeting with UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Two weeks after their talks, Erdoğan held a phone call with Sheikh Mohammed.

The two leaders will discuss bilateral ties, trade, regional developments and investments, one of the Turkish officials said on condition of anonymity. The second official said the final date had not yet been set.

"Sheikh Mohammed's visit will contribute to bringing ties to a better place," the second official said, adding that a "high-level visit" from Turkey would be on the agenda soon.

The UAE foreign ministry declined to comment. A Turkish presidential communications official could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last year Turkey accused the UAE of bringing chaos to the Middle East through interventions in Libya and Yemen, while the UAE and others criticized Turkish military actions. Erdoğan had also threatened to break off diplomatic ties with the UAE after the Gulf state's move to normalize ties with Israel.

Ankara's efforts to repair ties come after similar overtures this year towards Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have yielded little public progress.

With political differences still running deep between Abu Dhabi and Ankara, the two sides have focused on economic ties and de-escalation, rather than resolving their ideological rift.

Turkey said it was in talks with the UAE over investments in energy, such as power generation. The UAE has said it seeks deeper trade and economic ties with Turkey, and Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth funds have also made significant investments in Turkish online grocer Getir and e-commerce platform Trendyol.

Turkey and the UAE will also hold a business forum in Dubai on Nov. 23.