Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, bitter rivals in the Middle East, have been in contact in recent months and have made some progress, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said after rare talks with a senior UAE official.
Erdoğan said on Wednesday he and UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed investment in Turkey, adding that if the talks proceed well the United Arab Emirates would make “serious investments” in Turkey.
The Turkish president also said he was open to meeting the UAE’s de facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Turkey and the UAE have supported opposing sides in regional disputes, including the conflict in Libya and the blockade of Qatar by several Arab states among other issues.
In a televised interview, Erdoğan said talks held with Abu Dhabi for the last couple of months and led by the Turkish intelligence had reached a certain stage.
“I believe that there will be some more talks in the coming process,” he said.
“We are in favour of the main actors in the region directly negotiating and solving the problems.”
The UAE is also supporting Greece’s energy claims in disputed Eastern Mediterranean waters that Turkey pushed into searching for new natural gas deposits last year.
But Erdoğan has made efforts to reach out to a range of regional rivals, including Egypt, as he tries to break out of a growing diplomatic isolation that has cooled foreign investors in Turkey’s fragile economy.