President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey visits the United Arab Emirates today. The two states will discuss regional security and economic cooperation.
Erdogan’s visit follows Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zahed al Nayan’s visit to Ankara in November. Turkey and the UAE have had a tense bilateral relationship over the past decade, but Washington’s shift away from the Middle East towards the Indo-Pacific has stirred regional de-escalation of conflict. As states adjust to a future without American security guarantees, rapprochement has gained broad appeal. There are also vast economic benefits to the new relationship for Turkey–the UAE presented Turkey with a $10 billion investment plan during the previous round of talks.
As the value of the Turkish lira continues to plummet, expect to see continued efforts from Erdogan to forge partnerships in the Gulf. The relationship offers equal benefits to the UAE, as it faces the high likelihood that the United States will fail to secure a nuclear deal with Iran. In such an event, the UAE will need additional regional allies to balance Iran’s power and influence. For the Turkey-UAE relationship, we will likely see both Turkey and the UAE prioritize pragmatism in their regional activities and decrease participation in proxy conflicts.
Acadia is an analyst on the Current Developments team and regular contributor to the Daily Brief. She focuses on authoritarianism and security in the Middle East.