Diplomats from Egypt and Turkey concluded two days of talks in Cairo on Could 6 to discover methods of normalizing relations between the 2 nations after eight years of political stress.
The discussions have been the primary high-level public talks between the 2 regional heavyweights since Egypt deposed Turkey’s Muslim Brotherhood ally Mohammed Morsi in 2013, a transfer that angered Ankara and led to a disruption in Egyptian-Turkish relations.
A joint assertion described the consultations, led by Egyptian Deputy Overseas Minister Hamdi Loza and his Turkish counterpart Sedat Onal, as frank and in-depth.
“The discussions addressed bilateral and regional points, significantly the state of affairs in Libya, Syria and Iraq, and the necessity to obtain peace and safety within the japanese Mediterranean area,” the assertion mentioned.
In response to the assertion, the 2 sides will consider the end result of the session and agree on the following steps.
The discussions, initiated by Ankara, got here amid Turkish efforts to fix fences with Egypt, a shift from Turkey’s earlier sharply vital strategy of the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Each Cairo and Ankara expelled ambassadors in 2013 and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a number of verbal assaults on his Egyptian counterpart.
Turkey additionally gave refuge to a whole lot of members of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt blacklisted as a terrorist group in 2013. A number of Brotherhood-affiliated TV channels additionally aired anti-Egypt rhetoric from the Turkish territory.
The 2 nations are additionally at loggerheads over Libya, the place Turkey despatched army forces and mercenaries to help to the previous Authorities of Nationwide Accord (GNA) in Tripoli towards the Libyan Nationwide Military of Khalifa Hifter, who’s backed by Egypt.
Egypt was additionally angered by Turkey’s signing a maritime settlement with the GNA in 2019, in a transfer aimed by Ankara to spice up its maritime rights and affect within the japanese Mediterranean area. Egypt responded by signing an settlement with Greece to delineate their maritime boundaries, a transfer rejected by Turkey.
Forward of the talks, the Egyptian Overseas Ministry described the discussions as “exploratory” to stipulate the mandatory steps towards normalization between Cairo and Ankara.
Former Egyptian Overseas Minister Mohamed al-Orabi opines that the trail for normalizing relations between Egypt and Turkey remains to be lengthy, citing that Ankara is altering its discourse concerning the Libyan disaster and the Muslim Brotherhood once in a while.
“Turkish officers converse concerning the Muslim Brotherhood members as refugees, which means that they reject any request [from Egypt] to extradite Brotherhood members concerned in terrorist assaults,” Orabi advised Al-Monitor by way of telephone.
In response to Egyptian intelligence sources, the Turkish delegation mentioned through the exploratory talks that Ankara couldn’t extradite Muslim Brotherhood leaders needed by Egypt, citing that these leaders have legalized their residency in Turkey.
Egyptian authorities demand Turkey extradite Brotherhood members Yahya Musa and Alaa al-Samahi, two US-designated terrorists implicated within the assassination of Egyptian Prosecutor Basic Hisham Barakat in 2015.
Orabi mentioned Turkish officers additionally declare that their army presence in Egypt’s next-door neighbor Libya is reliable underneath a safety settlement signed with the GNA in 2019.
On Could 6, Turkey mentioned it agrees that every one international mercenaries in Libya want to go away the nation, however insisted that Turkish army presence in Libya was reliable underneath the safety settlement signed with Tripoli.
Through the Cairo talks, the Turkish diplomatic delegation, in response to the Egyptian intelligence sources, signaled Turkey’s readiness to carry a tripartite assembly between Turkish, Egyptian and Libyan officers to agree on disputed points in Libya, together with the presence of international fighters.
“This Turkish place doesn’t bode properly and gives the look that there’s nonetheless a good distance forward earlier than restoring diplomatic relations between the 2 nations to their regular degree,” Orabi famous.
Sooner or later after the exploratory talks between Cairo and Ankara, Erdogan mentioned Could 7 that Turkey strives to revive historic unity with the Egyptian individuals.
“The Egyptian individuals and the Turkish nation have a unity based mostly on historical past,” Erdogan advised reporters. “As associates, we try to revive our historic unity with the Egyptian individuals.”
Erdogan mentioned each Turkey and Egypt will increase the method to normalize their relations. “A brand new course of has begun. As recognized, it was first launched by our intelligence organizations and adopted by our international ministries. This course of will proceed to develop and increase,” he continued.
His protection minister, Hulusi Akar, was additionally optimistic about the way forward for his nation’s relations with Egypt, saying ties between Turkey and Egypt will quickly attain excessive ranges.
“We see that our relationships with Egypt are creating and this pleases a pal and provides confidence, and on the identical time it frightens some,” Akar mentioned throughout a speech to Turkish particular forces in Ankara. “We now have ties of brotherhood, friendship and customary values with the Egyptian individuals, and we can’t be separated from one another.”
Turkish Overseas Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu echoed a equally optimistic tone, saying, “We all the time say that Egypt will even revenue from cooperation over right here. When the relations enhance to that degree, we are going to talk about them as properly for certain.”
Bashir Abdel Fattah, a researcher on Turkish affairs on the impartial Al-Ahram Middle for Political and Strategic Research, believes that Egypt is in no hurry to normalize its relations with Turkey.
“Egypt needed from this spherical of talks to evaluate and check the Turkish aspect,” he advised Al-Monitor. He mentioned Cairo won’t transfer ahead towards normalizing relations with Ankara till Turkey makes substantial international coverage adjustments and complies with the Egyptian calls for — a very powerful of that are Turkey’s withdrawal from Libya and the extradition of needed Brotherhood members.
“Egypt needs Turkey to respect the ideas of worldwide legislation and good neighborliness, cease interference within the Egyptian inside affairs, shut all Brotherhood-affiliated media shops and withdraw its troops from Libya,” Abdel Fattah mentioned.