Egypt-Turkey discussions on fixing ties reach second round

Ankara to host second Egypt-Turkey discussions on normalising ties
3 min read
01 September, 2021
This second round of 'exploratory' talks between Turkey and Egypt will take place in Ankara next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ankara is to play host to the next lot of discussions [Altan Gocher/DeFodi Images/Getty]

Discussions between Egypt and Turkey are set to continue next Tuesday and Wednesday, according to both nations' foreign ministries.

This second lot of exploratory talks will take place in the Turkish capital Ankara after the first set of discussions concluded in Cairo in May.

It is predicted that the new round of discussions will focus on Egypt-Turkey ties and mutual matters of concern in the Middle East.

Both countries broke ties in 2013, following a military coup in Egypt that overthrew the country's first democratically-elected government.

Egypt's Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Loza will head the Egyptian team while Deputy FM Sedat Önal will represent Turkey for the two days of talks, the foreign ministries revealed.

The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, previously reported on Friday that communication between the two sides re-started last week.

It was suggested there had been signs ties could be normalised soon and the new round of exploratory discussions would begin in early September.

Analysis
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The pause in communication up to mid-August was bypassed after UAE National Security Adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey.

This motivated the Egyptian side to try and fix ties between Ankara and Cairo once again since Abu Dhabi - one of Egypt's foremost allies - had allegedly tried to hamper talks in the past.

The US - an ally of both countries - is also seeking to block Russian influence in the Middle East and views the Turkish and Egyptian communication as a positive sign, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's revealed.

Ties between France and Turkey have also improved. Erdogan was formally invited by Paris to attend the recent Baghdad regional conference and has pushed Cairo and Ankara towards cooperating in a number of areas.

Libya will top the agenda in Ankara next week, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's sources said, with both countries supporting opposing sides in the civil war.

Egypt has since loosened its ties with east Libya-based warlord Khalifa Haftar and moved closer to the internationally-recognised government in Tripoli.

Turkey has a strong military presence in the west of Libya as a result of deals made with the previous UN-backed Tripoli government.

Egypt wants Turkey's complete adherence to last December's ceasefire, Ankara to halt the export of weapons to Tripoli, and to begin pulling its forces out of Libya this year, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Cairo also wants clear efforts in halting the transfer of foreign mercenaries to Libya and return those already in the country.

Turkey has sent troops and Syrian mercenaries to support the Tripoli government against a Haftar offensive.

This requirement is the one "Turkey has shown greater flexibility in" compared to others, the sources explained.

Egypt and Turkey's full diplomatic ties ended in 2013 after the Turkish-backed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown.