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Thursday, June 30, 2022

‘Turkey’s normalization with Gulf countries will benefit both sides’

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The normalization process launched with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will make great contributions to both sides, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday. Addressing a group of young people in the capital Ankara in a meeting to mark the May 19 Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, Erdoğan said that Turkey has common grounds and interests with both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Responding to a question on how the ties with both Gulf countries have changed quickly, the president said that there are always ups and downs in politics. “These are our Muslim brothers. Sometimes we have had some difficulties, just as there is a fuss in the family, but we have overcome these problems now. We have now planned and are taking steps for all of our commercial relations, industry, defense industry, cultural and tourism, by overcoming them with both Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi administration.” Erdoğan noted that he recently visited the UAE to offer his condolences after the death of its ruler and meet with the new president. The UAE named the Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ) its new president following the death of his half-brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, last Friday. “Currently, our relations with Saudi Arabia are developing in a much more positive direction. I believe that this process that we started with both countries will make very important contributions to both countries, both in terms of trade and especially in terms of political relations. While we share our knowledge with them in the fields of the defense industry, I hope that we will take the opportunity to share their knowledge by making use of them. The developments are good at the moment,” he added. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are striving to increase all kinds of political, military and economic relations to start a new era, Erdoğan said last month following his visit to the country. Over the past year, Ankara has embarked on a diplomatic push to reset relations with regional powers such as Israel, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia after years of antagonism. Erdoğan had reiterated that Turkey hopes to maximize its cooperation with Israel, Egypt and Gulf nations “on a win-win basis,” at a time when Ankara intensified diplomacy to mend its fraught ties with these regional powers after years of tensions.

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