UAE delegation in Ankara for defence talks - Turkish source

ANKARA, Dec 7 (Reuters) - A delegation of United Arab Emirates government officials is in Ankara to discuss "cooperation opportunities" with Turkey's defence industry, a Turkish official said on Tuesday.

Ankara and Abu Dhabi signed accords for billions of dollars of investments two weeks ago and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said they would herald a "new era" in ties. read more

As part of a charm offensive launched last year, Turkey has also moved to repair ties with Egypt and Saudi Arabia but those talks have yielded little public improvement.

The UAE delegation met with the government-run Defence Industries Directorate (SSB) on Monday, the official said on condition of anonymity.

SSB Chairman Ismail Demir said at the weekend that the two countries had the potential to work together in the defence sector, indicating that Abu Dhabi had shown interest in the Turkish sector.

"When we look at our defence industry figures, we see that our defence industry relations continued even during times of crises. There was contact even when relations were not at their highest," Demir said.

"I would like to point out that these contacts will be better when relations improve."

The Defence Industries' Directorate and Aselsan did not respond to questions about the talks. The UAE's media office and defence ministry also did not respond.

Turkey said in September it was in talks with the UAE over investments in energy such as power generation. 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 economic ties with Ankara.

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.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi in Abu Dhabi Editing by Daren Butler and Nick Macfie

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