Dial M for Merkel, the month of May, and money talks

The National - News - The Review - - Time Frame -

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).

Time Frame is a se­ries that opens a win­dow into the na­tion’s past. Read­ers are in­vited to make con­tri­bu­tions to yourpics@ then­ational.ae

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