Turkey’s new ambassador to the UAE takes office

Turkey’s new ambassador to the UAE takes office

Turkey’s new ambassador to the UAE takes office

Turkish ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Tugay Tunçer has taken office as of May 1 amid Turkey’s recent outreach to the Gulf country, with which Ankara had been at odds due to regional disagreements.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had a phone call with his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed on April 22 to exchange messages of congratulations over the holy month of Ramadan, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The phone call came amid mutual efforts to normalize the ties between the two countries. Ankara and Abu Dhabi were in a long-term rivalry over regional conflicts in Syria and Libya.

Çavuşoğlu, in an interview, recalled Turkey had no problems with the UAE and was ready to normalize ties with the Gulf country. The process accelerated following the end of the blockage imposed by the Gulf countries against Qatar, Turkey’s leading regional ally.

The minister said that Turkey wanted to improve relations, but the UAE side should also take concrete steps and avoid actions that seem hostile to Turkey.

Last January, the UAE’s then minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said that the relations between the two rivals could “recalibrate.”

“We don’t have any problems with Turkey, such as border issues or any other such issues,” Gargash told Sky News Arabia and urged Ankara to cut off its “support to Muslim Brotherhood (MB).”

The ties between the UAE and Turkey were severely damaged after the coup d’état in Egypt in 2013 as the former accused Ankara of supporting the MB. The bilateral spat deepened due to several regional issues stretching from Syria to Libya and from Yemen to Sudan and Somalia.

The rapprochement between the two countries came after a decision of reconciliation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia announced on Jan. 4.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE severed ties with Qatar in mid-2017, alleging that Doha supported terrorism, maintained relations with Iran, permitted Turkey to establish a military base on its soil and supported the MB movement, among several other reasons.