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The New Arab Staff

Turkish delegation visits Egypt for first time since 2013 to discuss mending ties

Tie between the two countries broke following the ousting of President Morsi [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 May, 2021

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A Turkish delegation has arrived in Egypt to discuss strengthening ties and cooperation on Libya.

An official Turkish delegation travelled to Cairo on Monday for talks with Egyptian counterparts on mending fractured ties between the two countries. 

It was the first official visit by Turkish officials to Cairo since 2013, when ties between the two countries fractured after a military coup against Egypt's first democratically-elected government.

In addition to talks on normalising ties the officials also discussed joint cooperation on Libya, where Turkey and Egypt have supported rival sides in an internal conflict.
 
Rogue Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who was supported by Egypt, was repulsed by Turkish-backed forces in 2020, when he attempted to capture the Libyan capital. 

Relations between Egypt and Turkey soured when the Egyptian army, led by then Defence Minister Abdul Fatah El-Sisi, toppled the elected Muslim Brotherhood-led government. At the time, Turkey described the move as a military coup. 

Prior to the visit, Turkey Trade Minister Mehmet Mus highlighted the need for both diplomatic and economic ties between the two countries to be renewed. 

"Parallel to the developing diplomatic relations with Egypt, we want to strengthen our trade and economic ties in the coming period," the trade minister told an event on Monday, as reported by Reuters.

A spokesman for Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) mirrored the sentiments at a press conference on Monday. 

"Our talks will establish a political dialogue between the two countries, and for the sake of the Mediterranean issue, we are trying to find new mechanisms to talk about the issues between us and Egypt," said Omar Celik.

Read more: What warming Egypt-Turkey ties could mean for the Middle East

Maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean have long been a point of contention between the two countries, with Egypt and Turkey - as well as Libya, Greece and others - hoping to benefit from the large natural gas reserves present in the area.

In the run-up to Tuesday's visit, Turkey signalled its desire to improve relations with Egypt. 

In March, Egyptian opposition channels operating from Turkey, were asked to limit their criticism of the Egyptian government, according to reports, a move that was welcomed by Cairo.  

 

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