IT WAS A surprising choice for a summer holiday. On August 18th Tahnoon bin Zayed, the national-security adviser of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), turned up in Ankara to meet Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey. The countries have been at odds for years over Mr Erdogan’s support for Islamist groups around the Middle East. Turkish officials accused the UAE of abetting a failed coup in 2016. But none of that was mentioned in the official statement after their meeting, which talked instead of economic co-operation.

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A week later Sheikh Tahnoon met the emir of Qatar, becoming the most senior

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