Now is the time for regional peace and cooperation initiatives

H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President, Republic of Türkiye
H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President, Republic of Türkiye

H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan President of the Republic of Türkiye on strengthening relations with the UAE based on mutual trust and respect

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:00 AM

The growing rapprochement between Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is gaining new impetus as a result of our bilateral visits. I would like to express my satisfaction that our relations as two states in the region have evolved towards collaboration. I believe that increased collaboration between the two countries will benefit our region as well. It is especially noteworthy that the rapprochement developed during a period of growing global competition.

Türkiye values all of the countries in the region. It is also worth noting that among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the UAE is Türkiye's biggest trading partner. Non-oil trade between the two countries has totalled around $89.6 billion over the previous decade, and the trade volume continues to grow every year. The trade volume of $7.3 billion in 2019 climbed by 21 per cent to $8.9 billion in 2020. In the coming years, we intend to double our trade volume, which remained at the same levels in 2021. Additionally, the two countries have the potential to collaborate in a wide range of areas across the globe, particularly in our immediate neighbourhood and Africa. Türkiye, with its geopolitical location, human capital, area of activity, production capacity, and stabilising role, has become a centre of attraction, and is always open to constructive collaboration.

I believe that Türkiye and the UAE together can contribute to the regional peace, stability and prosperity. Our areas of cooperation, shared history, culture, and traditional values provide us with considerable opportunity. Our efforts to strengthen bilateral ties would also contribute to global stability.

Türkiye is one of the rare countries that seeks to balance its interests with peace and stability in its foreign policy. We strive to apply this principle to all parties we come into contact with. Our fundamental principles are aligning our interests, extending the fields of cooperation using the ‘win-win’ formula, and joint struggle against threats. As Türkiye, we are ready to develop our cooperation with every country and work together to solve regional problems. The fact that recently intensified dialogue between Türkiye and the UAE has now evolved into real collaboration demonstrates that if we take the initiative, we can shape our common future together.

As Türkiye, we do not separate the security and stability of the United Arab Emirates and our other brothers in the Gulf region from the security and stability of our own country. We believe wholeheartedly in the importance of deepening our cooperation in this context in the future.

We are delighted to launch a new chapter in Türkiye-UAE relations with the visit of my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Ankara on November 24, 2021. The economic agreements signed during this visit also provide valuable clues about the future of bilateral relations. We laid the foundations for future collaboration between the two countries by signing agreements in the fields of economy, finance, energy, petrochemistry, technology, transportation, infrastructure, health, food and agriculture. Finally, it was a remarkable development that Türkiye and UAE's central banks agreed on a swap agreement worth around $5 billion in local currencies.

My upcoming visit to the UAE will not only demonstrate the importance we attach to the friendship between the two countries but will also allow us to further our cooperation. In addition to energy, health, agriculture, logistics, infrastructure, finance, tourism, we aim to advance cooperation between Türkiye and the UAE on climate change, water and food security as well. I believe that both sides are eager to set new targets for further investment and cooperation. This cooperation will have positive reflections not only in bilateral relations but also at the regional level. In this context, these positive developments in our relations are valuable in and of themselves.

I am glad to be embarking on another 50 years of our friendship and brotherhood on the basis of common interests, mutual respect and trust with the UAE, which has marked the 50th anniversary of its foundation. On behalf of our nation, I extend my greetings and best wishes to the brotherly people of the UAE.

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