Turkey, UAE sign deals on energy, technology

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Turkey, UAE sign deals on energy, technology

ANKARA, Nov 24, Reuters - Turkey and the United Arab Emirates signed accords on Wednesday on energy and technology investments after talks between President Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Ankara.

Sheikh Mohammed's meeting with Erdogan, the first such visit in decades, comes as the two countries work to repair weakened ties after a period of bitter regional rivalry and amid a currency crisis in Turkey. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Turkish Presidency Investment Office and the Abu Dhabi Development Holding ADQ Turkish Wealth Fund TVF and the Abu Dhabi Development Holding ADQ Turkish Wealth Fund TVF.

Since the Arab uprisings erupted a decade ago, the agreements highlight the pivot towards economic partnership. The disputes extended to the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf before Ankara launched a charm offensive in the region last year. Sheikh Mohammed said after the talks he had fruitful talks with Erdogan on strengthening ties between Turkey and the UAE.

He said on Twitter that he looked forward to exploring new cooperation opportunities to benefit our two nations and advance our mutual development goals.

ADQ signed an agreement on investments in Turkish technology firms and the establishment of a technology-oriented fund, while Abu Dhabi Ports signed an agreement on port and logistics cooperation.

A deal between ADQ and Turkish company Kalyon on energy and infrastructure, another with CCN Group on health cooperation and a third with Turkey's Presidency Investment Office on renewable energy were also among the agreements, a Turkish official said.

The UAE has a $10 billion fund that will support mainly strategic investments in Turkey, including in health and energy fields, according to the state news agency WAM. Problems with the UAE are now behind us. Another official familiar with preparations for Wednesday's visit said that the UAE investment would be in the billions of dollars and that we are entering a period based on cooperation and mutual benefit.

A cooperation agreement was signed by the Turkish and Emirati central banks on Wednesday. Two sources said they were talking about a potential swap agreement.

Turkey's central bank has been looking for swap deals with other countries as a source of hard currency to build reserves and support the lira, which has declined as much as 45% this year.

It has swap agreements worth $6 billion with China, $15 billion with Qatar and $2 billion with South Korea, for a total of $23 billion.

Turkey said in September it was in talks with the UAE over investments in energy such as power generation, while the UAE, whose sovereign wealth funds have made significant investments in Turkish online grocer Getir and e-commerce platform Trendyol, has said it seeks deeper trade and economic ties with Ankara. State televisioner TRT Haber said that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogu will visit Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

Ankara has launched similar normalisation efforts with its rivals Egypt and Saudi Arabia, though those channels have not yielded much public improvement, because they are at odds with several regional countries as well as its Western allies over various issues.