UAE officials visit Ankara to discuss defense cooperation opportunities

Dec 8, 2021: A Turkish official said on Tuesday that a delegation of UAE government officials was in Ankara to discuss “opportunities for cooperation” with the Turkish defense industry.

Ankara and Abu Dhabi signed multibillion-dollar investment agreements two weeks ago, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said they would usher in a “new era” in relations. Turkey has also stepped in to restore relations with Egypt and Saudi Arabia as part of an offensive launched last year, but the talks have yielded little public improvement.

The UAE delegation met with the government-run Defense Industries Directorate (SSB) on Monday, the official said on condition of anonymity.

SSB Chairman Ismail Demir said over the weekend that the two countries have the potential to work together in the defense sector, indicating that Abu Dhabi has shown interest in the Turkish sector.

“When we look at our defence industry figures, we see that our defence industry relations continued even during times of crises. There was contact even when relations were not at their highest,” Demir said.

“I would like to point out that these contacts will be better when relations improve.”

The Defence Industries’ Directorate and Aselsan did not respond to questions about the talks. The UAE’s media office and defence ministry also did not respond.

Turkey said in September that it was in talks with the United Arab Emirates on investments in energy, such as electricity. The United Arab Emirates, whose sovereign wealth funds have made significant investments in Turkey’s online grocer Getir and e-commerce platform Trendyol, has said it wants closer economic ties with Ankara.

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