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Egypt and Turkey: changing tides bring together regional powers


CAIRO – 14 February 2024: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’ first visit to Egypt in 11 years culminates steps to normalize relations amid international conditions that push the two countries, both of which weigh heavily in the region, to coordinate positions.

 

The significant Egyptian-Turkish rapprochement highlights the rapid regional developments, where the majors powers of the world compete over hegemony. As regional powers, the two states decided to reduce tensions and align ranks to create a new regional order based on managing conflicts and neutrality. The aim is to achieve the most interests possible of Egypt and Turkey in hopes to impose a new regional and geopolitical equation that obligates relative stability in the region. 

 

Erdogan and Sisi will discuss several pressing issues:

 

Gaza

 

A ceasefire and adequate humanitarian aid in Gaza, as well as resisting any attempts to displace Palestinians will be tackled as a matter of urgency.

 

Libya

 

Both states have immense influence in Libya. Settling their differences may lead to elections in the North African country, the removal of militias, and reconstruction from which Egyptian and Turkish companies may benefit.

 

Somalia, Sudan

 

Once coordinated, the roles of the two countries would be much more effective in the Sudanese crisis. 

 

In regard to Somalia, both countries seem to agree that it should not be divided; such separation would pose geostrategic threats to regional security. Companies from the two countries participate in reconstruction in Somalia and Turkey has its biggest external military base in the East African state. 

 

Recently, landlocked Ethiopia announced it would establish a military base in Somaliland, an unrecognized separatist state, and hire the Red Sea Bebera Port. The move was slammed by Egypt, which threatened intervention if requested by Somalia.

Eastern Mediterranean 

Turkey imports 90% of its energy and is not in the tripartite schemes of the region (Egypt-Greece-Cyprus and Greece-Cyprus-Israel). An Egyptian-Turkish reconciliation may break the the political wall facing it in the Mediterranean gas area. Turkey looks forward to Egypt’s support in joining the Mediterranean gas club to engage in negotiations to permanently settle its differences with the group. It also wants to sign an agreement with Egypt on maritime borders. 

 

Bilateral cooperation

There is a goal to double the $10 billion trade volume between the two countries in the coming few years. Defense and military cooperation is also a major field for cooperation once full convergence is realized. Only a few days ago, the Turkish foreign minister said Turkey would sell warplanes to Egypt in a prelude to further military ties. 

 



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