United Arab Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held talks in Istanbul on Saturday with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
They reviewed the outcomes of the state visit paid by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the UAE in February, notably with regards to the exchange of cooperation agreements and MoUs to expand partnerships between their countries across various levels.
The foreign ministers held talks to explore avenues of cooperation between their countries and the prospects to advance relations for the common interests of their peoples.
They underlined the importance of strengthening efforts to achieve peace, stability and development in the region.
They addressed the latest regional and global developments, including those relevant to the stability of energy supplies and food markets in the world, and the global efforts made to reach a political settlement to the crisis in Ukraine.
Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the Emirati-Turkish relations are steadily growing and evolving, and that the leadership of both nations are determined to establish a sustainable model of a win-to-win partnership for the benefit of their peoples and other peoples in the region, reported the UAE state news agency (WAM).
The two ministers held a joint news conference following their meeting.
"We will be working together over the coming years to serve our bilateral relations. Under the directives of President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, these relations can fulfill many of the hopes and aspirations of our two peoples, and strengthen the regional positions of our two nations," Sheikh Abdullah said.
"I hope that we can work together to finalize the trade partnership agreement between our countries, whereby we can double our trade exchanges. We can also collaborate more to strengthen our partnerships around the world," he said, highlighting Africa as an excellent model on that score. "There are many areas of collaboration, such as development and trade partnerships as well as working to revive and create the best possible ecosystems for Emirati and Turkish industries and businesses."
Sheikh Abdullah elaborated by highlighting renewable energy as one of the sectors in which both nations are interested in strengthening their bilateral relations. "This sector is not only successful from a commercial point of view, but is also consequential to our countries that are both working towards reducing carbon emissions in the world."
He praised the increase in the volume of trade between the UAE and Turkey to about AED50 billion. "We have achieved an 82% growth in trade exchanges within two years, thanks to the strong will and hard work of our two governments to revive this exchange.
"I am very delighted with the latest momentum gained by our bilateral relations, not only the commercial, economic and political momentum, but also the cultural one, which was evident in your contribution to the success of Expo 2020 Dubai and your valuable participation in the global event.''
"Our talks here addressed a series of regional and global challenges, most notably food security-related issues. They were not only challenges but also opportunities. We talked about the prospects for accelerating joint action between Turkey and the UAE to boost our food security."
He hailed the ties of friendship and fraternity between Abu Dhabi and Ankara. "I'm looking forward to working together to make our peoples happy and continue to serve them, while ensuring this partnership will remain a source of pride for us all."
For his part, Çavuşoğlu said the talks with Sheikh Abdullah touched on many issues related to collaboration in various sectors, such as trade, economy, technology and energy, stressing that the UAE is Turkey's largest trade partner in the region.
He added that Turkish investors are keen to increase their investments in the UAE, noting that his meeting with Sheikh Abdullah also addressed the opportunities up for grabs for the two nations to strengthen joint work in other countries.
"We are looking forward to signing a trade partnership agreement with the UAE by the end of this year. We are keen to advance our relations to the highest possible level and to work together inspired by the support of the leaderships of our countries," Çavuşoğlu said.
In response to a question about the future of relations between the two countries and potential investment opportunities, Sheikh Abdullah replied: "While talking about developing partnerships between the two countries today, it is important to highlight the UAE's increased interest in the field of energy in general. And in this regard, we talked about some ideas, especially with regards to renewable, solar and electric energy."
He added: "One of the world's key companies working in this filed today, namely the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), is highly interested in seeking business opportunities in Turkey, whether at the corporate level with the Turkish private sector, or with the Turkish government"
Sheikh Abdullah pointed out that Masdar is a global renewable energy leader in delivering the world's largest and lowest cost solar plants. "We are proud of this status; and Emirati companies are increasingly interested in working in Turkey in the field of energy in general, as well as in areas of transport infrastructure, including ports and rails."
He added that Turkey boasts great potential in the field of tourism. "It is a vital sector, and we are looking forward to unlocking opportunities to strengthen our relations in this regard."
"COVID-19 was an opportunity for all of us to realize there is more work to be done in the health sector, and the pharmaceutical production sector will witness more interest on our part in searching for investment opportunities in Turkey."
"Our interest is not only focused on working in Turkey, but also working with Turkey in other parts of the world, including Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia. There are great opportunities up for grabs in these countries, where there's great respect as well for Turkey and the UAE; and we can strengthen this relationship by creating a better joint presence for both of us in these countries."
In response to a question about his recent visit to Israel, the Turkish foreign minister stressed that dialogue is necessary and fruitful. "Differences might exist, but severing relations is not good. We have conveyed the message to our Palestinian brothers as well as to the Israelis; and we will work to take additional steps in collaboration with Egypt in this regard."
He indicated that Turkey is also making efforts for the stability of Libya. "With regards to Yemen, we have expressed our full solidarity with the UAE and Saudi Arabia following the terrorist attacks on the two countries. We are fighting terrorism together and are all open for peace to ensure the common interest of our peoples."
In this context, Sheikh Abdullah noted Çavuşoğlu's recent visit to Israel, remarking: "There is no doubt that encouraging a return to the peace process and dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis is extremely important. Our region is awash with griefs and embitterment, while our peoples deserve the best."
"Ultimately, we're working for the common good and serving the best interests of the two peoples, rather than for the ideologies. Unfortunately, if the ideological contest intensifies, the two parties concerned do find it extremely difficult to work together."
Addressing his Turkish counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah said: "I am positive that thanks to the good offices that you are making between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and between the Russians and the Ukrainians, your role and efforts will bear fruit."