Dial M for Merkel, the month of May, and money talks
When it comes to international relations, short-term priorities may change but the fundamentals remain the same, which means that if it’s the month of May it must be Merkel.
In May 2010, the German chancellor arrived in Abu Dhabi as part of a four-day tour of the Arabian Gulf, and the region’s security issues – including the nuclear stand-off with Iran – were then at the top of her agenda. But she was also keen to add economics into the mix.
Business was however business as Merkel was accompanied by a phalanx of industry leaders, including Bauer Group’s Phillip Bayat, shown here with a smiling chancellor at the opening of the first natural gas refuelling station in the UAE.
When the chancellor arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday for talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, strategic issues were once again to the fore. Merkel had journeyed to Abu Dhabi from Riyadh, bearing news of German-Saudi discussions
Nick Leech Getty Images about Yemen, Libya and Syria, wars that were still unimaginable seven years ago.
Ultimately economic ties still matter: in 2016, the GCC was the EU’s fourth-largest export market, with EU exports to the GCC amounting to €100.8 billion (Dh403.99bn).
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