Turkey's finance chief heralds $50.7 billion deals with UAE as Erdogan tours Gulf nations

Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek says Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have signed deals worth $50.7 billion, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rounds off a three-country tour of the Gulf

FILE – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shake hands during a welcome ceremony, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Erdogan is beginning a three-stop tour of Gulf states to raise trade and investment for Turkey’s floundering economy. The president will arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, July 17, 2023, accompanied by an entourage of some 200 businesspeople. Business forums have been arranged in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirate. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)

The Associated Press

ISTANBUL — Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have signed deals worth $50.7 billion as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rounded off a three-country tour of the Gulf.

“Today we have witnessed the signings of several strategic agreements and (memoranda of understandings) worth a total of $50.7 billion to further cement ties between the UAE and Turkey,” Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek tweeted late Wednesday.

The agreements involve export financing, earthquake bonds, energy, defense and other sectors.

Erdogan embarked on a tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE on Tuesday, seeking trade and investment opportunities for Turkey’s floundering economy.

Inflation in Turkey was 38% last month, down from a high of 85% in October, while the budget deficit widened to $8.37 billion in June, seven times the level of a year earlier.

Ankara has repaired ties with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi over the last two years following a decadelong split with the Arab states.

Timothy Ash, an emerging markets analyst at London’s BlueBay Asset Management, said the deals represented a “new strategic relationship between Turkey and the Gulf states.”

Describing a “real triumph for Erdogan and his team,” Ash said similar commitments from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait could help Ankara as it begins a period of economic reform that embraces more orthodox policy-making.

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