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Turkey-UAE: Erdogan and MBZ discuss bilateral ties during phone call

The call comes after a rare meeting held between the Turkish president and the UAE's national security adviser
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed also discussed their views on a number of regional and international issues
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed discussed their views on a number of issues (AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) spoke over the phone on Monday and the two leaders discussed ways to improve bilateral relations, in the latest move between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to thaw ties.

In addition to bilateral ties, the two leaders discussed their views on a number of regional and international issues, official Emirati news agency WAM reported without going into further detail.

The phone call comes after recent contact between Turkey and the UAE, including a rare meeting held earlier this month between Erdogan and UAE national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Erdogan had also said he was open to meeting with MBZ, the UAE's de facto ruler, and that the two sides have been making progress in recent months.

Turkey and the UAE, bitter rivals in the Middle East, have supported opposing sides in regional disputes over the past several years, including the conflict in Libya and the blockade of Qatar by several Arab states.

For the last five years, Ankara had also publicly blamed the UAE for financing the 2016 coup plotters in Turkey.

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However, since US President Joe Biden was elected to office, both countries have signalled a change in their regional policies, with Ankara holding talks with Egypt and Israel through its intelligence agencies to repair bilateral ties.

The UAE has been hinting at a thaw in ties with Turkey for several months, with Anwar Gargash, former minister of state for foreign affairs, saying in January that relations could be "recalibrated".

The UAE also eased pressure on Turkish businesspeople and restarted flights between Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

In April, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed called his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to exchange seasonal pleasantries during the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, Turkey's recent steps against the Muslim Brotherhood - including a request for Egyptian opposition channels to take popular political programming off-air - are believed to have been welcomed in Emirati government circles.

The UAE's non-oil economy shrank by more than six percent last year, a Turkish official previously told MEE, saying he believes Abu Dhabi sees economic potential in Turkey: its economy is expected to grow more than five percent this year alone.

The Turkish president said during his meeting with Tahnoun bin Zayed that he and the Emirati national security adviser had drawn up a roadmap for future UAE investments in Turkey.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.