What are you looking for?


Turkey, Egypt make diplomatic-level contact after yearslong hiatus

Turkey, Egypt make diplomatic-level contact after yearslong hiatus

Turkey and Egypt have made diplomatic-level contact after a yearslong hiatus that began with the disruption of relations in 2013, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced Friday.

Speaking to reporters during his return from Qatar, Çavuşoğlu said: “We have made contact with Egypt at both the intelligence and foreign ministry levels. Contact has also been started at the diplomatic level.”

Noting that neither side put forward preconditions, the top diplomat said ties that have been cut for years could not be mended at once and easily.

He said having a lack of trust is also normal in such situations and may occur for both parties.

“For this reason, negotiations take place and continue under a certain strategy, a road map,” Çavuşoğlu said as quoted by Anadolu Agency (AA).

Following Çavuşoğlu’s remarks, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday stated that the cooperation with Egypt in the fields of intelligence, diplomacy and economy continues.

The president said the contacts were “not at the highest level, but right below the highest level. We hope that we can continue this process with Egypt much more strongly.”

Turkey’s foreign minister earlier this month said that Turkey may negotiate a maritime demarcation agreement with Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, depending on the condition of bilateral ties. Following this, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Egypt’s decision to respect Turkey’s continental shelf while carrying out seismic exploration in the Mediterranean Sea is an important development. Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın also last week described Egypt as the brain and heart of the Arab world and said that Turkey could turn a new page with Cairo and the Gulf countries.

Recently, Greek media reported that Egypt’s announcement of holding a tender for hydrocarbon exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean by recognizing the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) demarcated by Turkey could be a sign of a possible agreement between Ankara and Cairo on the issue. Greek daily Kathimerini said last month that in the eastern zone of the tender map, Egypt has paid attention to the continental shelf declared by Turkey to the United Nations after the agreement between Turkey and Libya in November 2019. The newspaper said that Cairo’s move could be interpreted as its reservation to get involved in the controversy about the Turkish-Greek continental shelf in the region, especially around the island of Cyprus. Kathimerini also said that even though this move would not lead to an immediate reconciliation, it indicates that Cairo has left the door open to Ankara for future talks.