Turkey is working to strengthen its existing ties with Gulf countries, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Monday.
Pointing out that there is currently a relative coldness between Turkey and several Gulf countries, the country's top diplomat said: "What we all desire is that there are no problems between friendly countries and that cooperation comes to the fore. We will continue to work together in this direction. We will continue to work together on the peaceful solution to all problems in our region."
Çavuşoğlu made the remarks during a news conference with his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Bahrain's capital Manama.
As part of a two-day official visit, the Turkish minister also met Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa at the Gudaibiya Palace.
Saying that he was glad to be back in "friendly" Bahrain after five years, Çavuşoğlu thanked his counterpart and his colleagues for their hospitality and productive meetings.
Çavuşoğlu said the meetings are an indication of increasing contacts with the Gulf nations and that he would be honored to host Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Turkey as soon as possible.
Reiterating that talks are being held to overcome deadlocks, he said Turkey started a dialogue process with Egypt and held two meetings at the deputy foreign ministers' level.
Noting that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in February, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey's national day will be celebrated at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
He said the dialogue process with Saudi Arabia continues to improve bilateral relations and take the relationship as it was in the past. "I believe there will be positive developments in the future," he said.
The Turkish minister also condemned recent Houthi attacks on the UAE and Saudi Arabia. "Turkey is against all forms of terrorism ... we are in solidarity with the UAE and the targeted countries, including Saudi Arabia," he said.
Earlier, Erdoğan had also said that Turkey is strengthening relations with all Gulf countries, and is open to dialogue to clear any misunderstandings.
Ties between Turkey and the Arab world are experiencing a major thaw after years of tense relations. Late last year, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ) visited Ankara and announced a $10 billion (TL 133.8 billion) fund for investments in Turkey.
Turkish officials described MBZ's visit as the "beginning of a new era" following years of hostility after Ankara blamed the UAE for financing the 2016 coup plotters in Turkey and undermining Turkish interests in Libya. The UAE media reiterated that the visit will carry the relations between Turkey and Arab countries into a new period.
The prince’s visit to Turkey is viewed as part of a wider effort by the UAE to recalibrate its foreign policy following an unsuccessful attempt to isolate fellow Gulf state Qatar in 2017. Turkey, an ally of Qatar, rushed to support Doha amid an embargo imposed by the UAE and three Arab states. Turkey has since deepened its military ties with Qatar.
The Arab quartet at the time demanded a series of reversals by Qatar, including the expulsion of Turkish troops, but Doha rejected the demands, which it saw as violations of its sovereignty. The dispute was resolved earlier this year with an agreement signed in Saudi Arabia.
Turkey is also engaged in an effort to mend its frayed ties through intensified diplomacy with regional powers, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after years of tensions. Erdoğan had reiterated that Turkey hopes to maximize cooperation with Egypt and Gulf nations "on a win-win basis."