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Egypt and Turkey Conclude Talks On Regional Issues

Egypt and Turkey Conclude Talks On Regional Issues

After years of hostility, Egyptian and Turkish officials met Wednesday to reset ties between the two regional powers. Meetings aim to end a confrontation between the two U.S. allies in Libya, where they back opposing the conflict. A joint statement described the talks as “frank and in-depth” and dealt with bilateral relations and several regional issues, particularly the situations in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and “the need to achieve peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean region.”

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announced the meetings as “exploratory discussions” that would focus on “the necessary steps that may lead towards the normalization of relations between the two countries, bilaterally and in the regional context.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been sparring since the military’s 2013 ouster in Cairo of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, personally backed by Erdogan.

Egypt and Turkey Conclude Talks On Regional Issues

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on March 12 that the two countries have had “intelligence, diplomatic and economic” contacts, adding that he hoped for “strong” ties between the two nations.

Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Mus said earlier this week that Ankara also wants to boost economic and trade ties with Cairo, which remains Turkey’s biggest African trade partner, with a $4.86-billion-vlue trade last year.

The two nations back opposing sides in Libya. Egypt, Greece and some other European countries were angered by a 2019 Turkish deal with Libyan officials aiming to boost Turkish maritime rights and influence in the eastern Mediterranean.

Egypt and Greece responded by signing a separate deal to delineate their maritime boundaries, that Ankara rejected.