Turkish, UAE leaders talk on phone as tensions seem to ease

U.S. & World

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken with the United Arab Emirates’ de-facto leader, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, by telephone, Erdogan’s office said late Monday, in a sign of easing tensions between the countries.

The two discussed their countries’ relations and regional issues, according to a statement from the Turkish presidency. The statement did not say when the conversation took place.

The UAE’s state-run news agency said the leaders “reviewed the prospects of reinforcing the relations between the two nations in a way that serves their common interests and their two peoples.”

The call came two weeks after Erdogan hosted a top UAE security official and discussed investment in Turkey.

UAE national security advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s trip was the highest-level public visit by an Emirati official to Turkey in years. The two countries have seen their ties affected by regional tensions, including the conflict in Libya, where the UAE and Turkey have backed opposing sides in recent years.

Turkey has in recent months relaxed its tensions with a number of Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Alongside the UAE and Bahrain, they had backed a blockade of Turkey’s ally Qatar, leading Turkey to boost its support. The dispute was resolved earlier this year with an agreement signed by the Saudis.

Turkey and the Gulf states and Egypt have also clashed over Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Arab regimes see as a threat.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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