CNN  — 

The United Arab Emirates’ de facto ruler landed Wednesday in Turkey’s capital as part of a diplomatic spree to end regional rifts that have defined the Middle East for over a decade.

The Ankara meeting brings together two regional powerhouses that have long viewed one other as ideological foes: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MBZ, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. MBZ, who is on his first official visit to Ankara in nearly 10 years, was met with fanfare. Erdogan held a welcome ceremony for the Crown Prince at the presidential palace that included a cavalry procession.

Hours later, the UAE announced a $10 billion investment fund in multiple sectors of the Turkish economy, including energy, climate change and trade. The move may buoy Turkey’s floundering economy at a time when its years-long currency crisis has picked up speed. As an initial sign of the economic impact of the Crown Prince’s visit, Turkey’s lira appreciated by about one point on Wednesday after having hit a record low in recent days.

Why this meeting matters

The rivalry between the UAE and Turkey has played out on some of the most lethal battlefields in the region over the past decade, reshaping the Middle East in the process. A détente between the former foes could have a similarly transformational effect.

The roots of the recent feud go back to MBZ’s campaign to stamp out the conservative Muslim Brotherhood movement across the region. Erdogan, for his part, has been the Islamist group’s most powerful supporter.

MBZ has long been a key backer of Egypt’s military, which overthrew the country’s first democratically elected president – Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsy – in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2014, then installed former general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as president. Sisi has presided over some of the repressive campaigns against the Muslim Brotherhood and political activists in Egypt’s modern history.

In Libya, MBZ backed the renegade general Khalifa Haftar in his bloody bid to wrest power from the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and supported by Erdogan.

But the guns have since fallen relatively silent on many of the region’s faultlines, and its major players must now contend with economies reeling from the combined effects of regional instability and the pandemic. Turkey is one of those countries that has been struggling to keep its economy afloat in recent years. In reviving Ankara’s relationship with Abu Dhabi, and attracting a slew of investments from the oil-rich UAE, Turkey’s strongman president may be hoping for a much-needed lifeline.

“(Erdogan) stayed in power due to the economy. So a weaker economy before 2023 elections is definitely something he doesn’t want.” Turkey analyst and editor at large at TRT world Yusuf Erim told CNN. “And Emiratis have the money to be able to provide a booster shot for the Turkish economy.”

In exchange, Abu Dhabi may seek concessions on several regional flashpoints, such as Libya, raising the specter of a potentially game-changing quid pro quo.