Erdogan's visit to Egypt paves way for new strategic alliance to address regional issues: Diplomats



Wed, 14 Feb 2024 - 10:03 GMT


Wed, 14 Feb 2024 - 10:03 GMT

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in India in September 2023 - Egyptian Presidency

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in India in September 2023 - Egyptian Presidency

CAIRO – 14 February 2024: Several diplomats have noted that the improvement of Egyptian-Turkish relations and activating high-level bilateral cooperation mechanisms will give the region strength and security.

They commended the two countries’ efforts to achieve convergence between each other amid escalating regional tensions, in light of the political weight of Egypt and Turkey in the Middle East.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to arrive in Egypt on Wednesday in his first official visit to the country since 2012, while both countries are striving to improve their ties after a decade of tensions.

New strategic alliance

Former Egyptian Ambassador to Ankara, Ambassador Abdel Rahman Salah, said that Erdogan's visit to Cairo represents an opportunity to create a new alliance to address regional problems.

The visit aims to restore relations with Egypt to what they were ten years ago, which would maximize bilateral and regional interests between the two countries, Salah noted in a statement to the Egyptian state’s news agency MENA.

Salah affirmed that this long-awaited visit comes at a time when both countries need to collaborate to confront the ongoing turbulent situation in the region.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in India in September 2023 - Egyptian Presidency


He shed light on the developments in the competition within the international and regional systems to redraw the map of influence in the Middle East, while possibly disregarding the economic interests of both Egypt and Turkey.

Salah noted that the current Gaza war has complicated regional interactions. These circumstances may lead to future American pledges to directly recognize the Palestinian state without the need to crystallize a difficult-to-reach peace agreement at present, he added.

“Here, Erdogan needs to coordinate with Egypt to play an influential role in these interactions to maintain Turkey's image as a regional power,” Salah stressed.

He considered that the restored cooperation between Cairo and Ankara can further strengthen Egypt’s capabilities and its regional and international influence.

Salah expressed his hope that Erdogan's visit to Egypt would be “a birth certificate” of a new era of close relations between Cairo and Ankara, built on commonalities and benefiting from past mistakes.

Settling Gaza conflict

Former Deputy Foreign Minister Ambassador Ali El-Hefny affirms that Erdogan’s visit sends a message that the pages of the past have been turned to start a new phase.

He added that both countries look forward to a future dominated by cooperation and respect, preserving the security and stability of the countries.

Hefny also highlighted that Erdogan's visit paves the way for a new strategic alliance that shapes the future of the region at this highly sensitive time, especially amid the Israeli war in Gaza.

He emphasized that Erdogan's visit to Egypt represents a golden opportunity to reach understandings on a number of outstanding issues and bridge the gap in perspectives, especially regarding the Libyan file, which is of utmost importance to both countries.

The visit can also lead to the coordination of the two countries’ positions on critical issues, working towards ending the Israeli war and ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, Hefny said.

Both countries can also work to prevent the displacement of Palestinians and save the Palestinian cause from liquidation, while encouraging peace-loving and just countries worldwide to directly recognize the Palestinian state, he added.

Turning point in Middle East

Former Assistant Foreign Minister Ambassador Gamal Bayoumi considered the visit of the Erdogan to Egypt after years of political tension as a major turning point in the Middle East.

He also underscored that the visit paves the way for a new strong alliance between two key powers in the region capable of addressing current crises and countering schemes that target the region.

Bayoumi described this visit as a "positive step" towards pushing bilateral relations forward and enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

Furthermore, it is an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest, primarily the developments in Palestine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the situation in the energy-rich Eastern Mediterranean region.

He emphasized that Turkey is a brotherly Islamic country that Egypt should maintain the best possible relations with, especially in the face of attempts to destabilize the Middle East.

He highlighted the need for Turkish pressure on the Israeli government, in light of the important cooperation relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv, to stop the war against the Palestinians.

Milestones in bilateral relations

In November 2022, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with Erdogan in the Qatari capital, Doha, where they agreed to commence the development of bilateral relations.

Sisi Erdogan

The two leaders also held a meeting in New Delhi in September last year, their first extended meeting after the resumption of relations. During the meeting, they agreed to foster Egyptian-Turkish cooperation and building on the progress made over the recent months.

Last year, Egypt and Turkey announced elevating their diplomatic relations, exchanging ambassadors, after their relations were strained in 2013 in the wake of the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi.

In February 2023, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry made the first visit by Egypt’s top diplomat to Turkey since relations strained. Shoukry’s visits to Turkey and Syria at the time aimed to show solidarity with both countries after the devastating earthquakes that killed over 50,000 people in both countries.

In the wake of the disaster, Egypt sent tons of relief aid to both Turkey and Syria.

In March 2023, then- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Egypt for the first time since relations soured.



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