No photo available

126 views - 2 weeks ago

Turkey to send a delegation to Egypt as it seeks to repair ties

TURKEY’S Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it will send a delegation to Egypt led by its deputy foreign minister in early May, as Ankara ramps up a push to repair strained ties with Cairo after years of animosity.

But analysts say Cairo is more cautious about Turkey’s intentions as it still awaits clear signs of Ankara’s end of support to Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members and other Egyptian extremists based in Turkey. Egyptian sources say Egyptian authorities also want the extradition of extremist elements charged with terrorism offences.

Last month, Turkey said it had resumed diplomatic contacts with Egypt and wanted to further cooperation, eight years after ties crumbled over the 2013 Egyptian army toppling a Muslim Brotherhood president close to Ankara.

A thaw in ties between the regional powerhouses could have repercussions around the Mediterranean. They have backed rival sides in the war in Libya and sealed conflicting maritime deals with other coastal states.

Cavusoglu, however, said on Wednesday that a new period was beginning in Turkey-Egypt ties, saying that Cairo had invited the Turkish delegation to visit Egypt in the first week of May to discuss ties.

He added that a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, to whom he spoke at the weekend, would take place after those talks.

Cairo has said Turkey’s actions “must show alignment with Egyptian principles” to normalize ties. Last month, Ankara asked Egyptian opposition TV channels operating in Turkey to moderate their criticism of Cairo, in the first concrete step aimed at easing diplomatic tensions.

The request appeared to be an attempt by Turkey to curry favour with Egypt in a bid to mend relations.