Turkey aims to improve ties with Egypt and UAE
On Tuesday, Turkey continued to reach out to regional rivals Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in an effort to restore fraying ties that have exacerbated regional tensions.
As Turkish and Egyptian officials held a second round of talks in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed his country was taking “good steps” to improve relations.
“Our ministry buddies are meeting with (Egyptian officials),” he stated in an interview with NTV.
“If we agree to nominate an ambassador after the meetings, we will take the appropriate joint steps.”
Egypt and Turkey have not exchanged ambassadors since 2013, when relations deteriorated following the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi by military ruler Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is now president.
Turkey has clashed with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia on a number of topics, most recently the conflict in Libya, when Ankara supported the UN-recognized administration in Tripoli while its Arab competitors supported an alternative side.
“There is no such thing as lifelong friendship or hatred in international relations,” Cavusoglu stated.
The minister raised the prospect of a maritime agreement with Egypt in the eastern Mediterranean, similar to the one reached with the Tripoli government in late 2019. This agreement rekindled concerns between Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus over energy development in the region.
Cavusoglu proposed an eastern Mediterranean gathering to settle conflicts.
In terms of relations with the UAE, Turkey’s top ambassador stated that there have been “good milestones in the normalization process.” Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke via phone with the UAE’s de facto ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.
Cavusoglu also reaffirmed Turkey’s desire to settle its issue with the United States over the purchase of a Russian air defence system.
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