Turkey congratulates UAE on Mars mission

Turkish Technology and Industry Minister Mustafa Varank congratulated the United Arab Emirates on Thursday for successfully sending a spacecraft into orbit around Mars.

The UAE’s Hope probe reached Mars on Feb 9., making the Gulf state only the fifth country to successfully complete the landmark mission. 

"The success of the United Arab Emirates Mars Mission, on which they have been investing for a long time, is worthy of appraisal," Mustafa Varank said on social media. “Each new discovery in space has the potential of increasing international cooperation, serving the interests of the world peace.”

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced plans to send a rocket to the moon by the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic in 2023.

In January, Turkey launched communications satellite Turksat 5A in cooperation Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX.

Turkey and the UAE have competed for regional influence in recent years, taking opposing sides on issues including the Libyan conflict and the blockade of Qatar.