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Turkey and Egypt Hold Reset Talks In Cairo

Egypt Turkey talks
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry hosts a Turkish delegation to discuss a possible reset in relations. Credit: Twitter/Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Officials from Turkey and Egypt have met in Cairo on Wednesday for talks aimed at resetting relations after almost a decade of tensions.

Leading the cadre of Turkish officials in Cairo was Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onel who met with Egyptian officials led by Hamdi Loza, Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Minister. The talks, which are described as “political consultations,” will take place across the next two days.

Earlier this week, Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Mus said that building the trade relationship with Egypt would be another priority.

This round of negotiations is not designed to paper over all of the differences between Turkey and Egypt, of which there are many. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry explained the meetings as “necessary steps that may lead to normalization of relations between the two countries at the bilateral and regional context.”

Specific steps the two countries might make have not yet been specified by either side.

Relations between Egypt and Turkey take a nosedive

Relations between Turkey and Egypt nosedived sharply after the 2013 coup by the Egyptian military that overthrew President Mohammed Morsi.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a strong supporter of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood led government and immediately downgraded relations with Egypt.

Tensions escalated over recent disagreements in Libya and Syria where the two are on opposite sides. The eastern Mediterranean Sea is also a significant flashpoint, especially after Turkey signed a maritime agreement with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in November 2019.

Egypt, alongside Greece and Cyprus, rejected the deal for infringing on their own territorial waters. Last year, Greece and Egypt concluded their own maritime agreement, which was opposed by Turkey.

Turkey has proposed to Egypt that they make a separate maritime deal, but there have been no commitments made to that end by the Egyptians.

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