UAE Officials Head to Turkey for Defense Talks
(Bloomberg) -- A delegation of United Arab Emirates government officials is in Ankara to discuss possible cooperation with Turkey’s defense industries, according to a Turkish official.
The visit comes less than two weeks after UAE de facto ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited the Turkish capital and officials unveiled a $10 billion fund to support UAE investments in Turkey.
The UAE delegation met Monday with the government-run Defense Industry Presidency and then held talks with Ankara-based defense companies, including Aselsan, the official said on condition of anonymity. The team also met with representatives of Turkish drone makers the official said. The outcome of the talks was not immediately clear.
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The Defense Industry Presidency and Aselsan didn’t respond to questions from Bloomberg. The UAE foreign ministry did not respond to calls and an email seeking comment.
During Sheikh Mohammed’s visit last month, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ signed a cooperation deal with the Turkish Presidency Investment Office on possible investments involving energy, petrochemicals, technology, transportation, infrastructure, health care, financial services, food and agriculture.
Speaking to a group of reporters on Sunday, Ismail Demir, head of the Turkish agency, said the development of Turkey’s defense industry was of interest to the UAE and discussions may result in “export possibilities.”
Bilateral ties started to warm earlier this year and could unlock billions of dollars in trade and investment. Abu Dhabi’s wealth funds have already spent months scouting for investments in Turkey, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.
The UAE has accelerated a push to step back from regional conflicts and refocus on the economy. Its ties with Turkey had been strained over the role of Islamist groups in the tumult that followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, and the countries were on opposite sides in Libya’s conflict.
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