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Turkey and Egypt Rekindle Relations After 9-Year Rift

Turkey and Egypt renewed their relationship after years of strain with a warm handshake between Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, on the sidelines of the World Cup in Qatar on Nov. 20.

The presidency in Cairo on Nov. 21 heralded a new “beginning” in ties with Ankara. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Recep Tayyip Erdogan “confirmed the depth of historical ties between the two countries” during their brief encounter in Doha, spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement, signaling Egypt is finally ready to bridge their nine-year rift.

Elaborating his brief meeting with el-Sisi, Erdogan said he expressed Turkey’s will to carry out a normalization process with Egypt through high-level talks.

“We said that a process can begin. A step has been taken here to start such a process, and we have had discussions. I hope we can move the process, which started with our ministers, to a good point later, hopefully to the high-level meetings,” Erdogan said.

The unity of the Turkish nation and the Egyptian people in the past is very important to Türkiye, he said and added, “Why not again, why not start again? We gave this signal.”

Ankara expects Cairo to establish peace together against those who take a stand against them in the Mediterranean, Erdogan added.

Turkey and Egypt broke relations in 2013

This short meeting was recorded as the highest level of contact between Turkey and Egypt after Sisi seized power in Egypt on July 3, 2013, after a military coup that toppled democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.

Turkey strongly condemned the coup and slammed el-Sisi. Cairo expelled Turkey’s ambassador while Ankara downgraded relations in a tit-for-tat move, further fraying ties.

The two countries also sparred over a range of other issues, including the war in Libya, where they backed rival sides and maritime disputes in the eastern Mediterranean.

In October Egypt, together with Greece, proclaimed a deal between Turkey and Libya for hydrocarbon exploration in Libya’s Mediterranean waters as illegal.

Egypt charged that the authorities’ mandate in Tripoli has “expired” and that “the government of Tripoli does not have the legitimacy to sign agreements.”

The deal follows an agreement Turkey signed three years ago with Tripoli that demarcated the countries’ shared maritime borders.

Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus believe the 2019 agreement violates their economic rights in an area suspected to contain vast natural gas reserves.

Source : Greek Reporter