UAE links with Serbia controversial but expanding

Published in GSN, 26 April 2019

A UAE delegation led by minister of state Sultan Bin Ahmed Sultan Al-Jaber has been to Belgrade for the first session of the UAE-Serbia Joint Committee, held on 9 April. The Serbian side was led by finance minister Siniša Mali. The UAE has become a prominent player in the Serbian economy in recent years, with an estimated $4bn of investments and partnerships.

Among those involved are Al-Dahra Company, which invested €150m ($169m) in the local agriculture sector in 2018; Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, which has a large minority stake in Air Serbia; Masdar, which has backed the Tesla Wind Power Generation Project; and real estate firm Eagle Hills, which is involved in the controversial Belgrade Waterfront Project. The UAE has also signed arms deals with Serbian suppliers, both for its own armed forces and to channel through to groups fighting in Syria (GSN 1,020/14).

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