Creating new perspectives since 2009

UAE FM expresses willingness to normalise ties with Turkey

January 11, 2021 at 1:04 pm

UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash in Jeddah on 17 July 2019. [AMER HILABI/AFP/Getty Images]

The United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash has expressed his country’s desire to normalise and re-establish relations with Turkey, following tensions between the two.

Gargash made the remarks in an interview with the Emirates-based Sky News Arabia yesterday, saying: “What we want to tell Turkey is, we want to normalise our relations within the framework of mutual respect for sovereignty.”

Calling on Turkey to end its “support to the Muslim Brotherhood and restore its relations” with the Arab world, the Emirati foreign minister claimed that there are no other substantive issues obstructing improved ties between Abu Dhabi and Ankara.

He also said: “We don’t cherish any feuds with Turkey,” acknowledging that the UAE is Turkey’s top trade partner in the Middle East.

READ: The UAE is working against Turkey, but for how long?

Gargash’s comments on warming relations with Turkey comes after ties between both countries have been strained throughout 2020, over a series of geopolitical confrontations in the region.

It was discovered in April that Abu Dhabi had attempted to bribe Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with $3 billion to renew his regime’s offensive on the opposition-held territory in Idlib, with the aim of tying down Turkish military forces to distract them from operations in Libya.

Then in August, the UAE normalised relations with Israel, causing Turkey to condemn it for turning its back on and helping to infringe the rights of the Palestinians. Ankara’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) soon revealed that the Emirates had been operating a spy network within Turkey.

Gargash’s remarks also come days after the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states re-established ties with Qatar after their three-and-a-half-year blockade on the country.

READ: Gulf reconciliation is a return to reason and pragmatism