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Middle East players move to detente as U.S. turns focus on China

Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt open new diplomatic playbook

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan during their meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 24.  (Presidential Press Office handout via Reuters)

ISTANBUL -- U.S. President Joe Biden's rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, shift of focus toward China and desire for rapprochement with regional powerhouse Iran have sparked a series of diplomatic efforts by countries in the Greater Middle East to reset relations and put aside long-standing feuds.

On a cold and rainy day in Ankara last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, rolling out the turquoise carpet.

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