| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Egypt, Turkey Prepare for 2nd Round of Talks on Normalization

Four months after the first exploratory talks between Egypt and Turkey on the normalization of relations, the two countries are preparing for the next session, which will be hosted by Ankara as of Sept. 7.

The two sides will be represented by their respective deputy foreign ministers and will look into the means to normalize the “politically severed relations since nearly eight years.”

Both Cairo and Ankara reported that a second round of exploratory talks will be held over two days in the Turkish capital.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that Ambassador Hamdi Loza, Deputy Foreign Minister, will visit Ankara “in response to the invitation” from Turkey, to hold the second round of “exploratory talks”, which are expected to “deal with bilateral relations between the two sides, as well as a number of regional issues.”

The upcoming round follows the first series of talks, which were held in Cairo on May 5-6, when the two sides announced, in a joint statement, that the discussions were frank and touched on bilateral issues, as well as the situation in Libya, Syria and Iraq, and the need to achieve peace and security in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Relations between Ankara and Cairo deteriorated in 2013 over the Turkish position on the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, and its support for the group that the Egyptian authorities have designated a terrorist organization.

While the two countries withdrew their ambassadors simultaneously, their embassies remained open and continued to work at the Chargé d’Affaires level over the past eight years.

However, in several statements last year, Ankara has expressed interests to revive the relations with Cairo and forced a number of Brotherhood-speaking channels, which broadcast from Istanbul, to stop their incitement and attack on the government in Egypt. Turkish authorities also banned Brotherhood leaders from delivering statements or carrying out activities that obstruct the rapprochement with Cairo.

Relations between Egypt and Turkey are intertwined, including the “Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum” organization, and the demarcation of the maritime borders with Cyprus, Greece and Libya (within the framework of an agreement between Tripoli and Ankara that Cairo does not recognize).

Cairo is the permanent headquarters of the “Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum,” which includes Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel, while Turkey is involved in disputes with Greece and Cyprus over energy reserves in the Mediterranean.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat