Latin American-Gulf Economic Ties Are Still Largely Aspirational

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister for the United Arab Emirates, talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Aloysio Nunes, during a signing ceremony on his recent South America trip, Brasilia, March 16, 2017 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister for the United Arab Emirates, talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Aloysio Nunes, during a signing ceremony on his recent South America trip, Brasilia, March 16, 2017 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).

On a recent visit to Buenos Aires, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign affairs minister for the United Arab Emirates, signed several agreements with his Argentinian counterpart, Susana Mabel Malcorra, while talking enthusiastically about the potential for the two countries “to enhance cooperation, explore opportunities and overcome challenges” as they continue to develop their relationship. Yet attempts to deepen ties between Latin American and Gulf countries have long run into geographic, political and cultural obstacles. In an email interview, Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, discusses the slow process of trying to bring the two regions closer together. […]

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