Turkey to seek Egypt, Israel thaw after UAE talks

AFP , Monday 29 Nov 2021

Turkey will take steps to improve relations with Egypt and Israel similar to those taken with the UAE, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in comments published by Turkish media Monday.

Erdogan,Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed
Turkey s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, shake hands after a signing ceremony at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. AP

Ties between Turkey and the UAE were strained over regional issues, but Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed's visit to Ankara last week thawed relations as the countries sealed multi-billion-dollar investments.

"Just as a step was taken between us and the United Arab Emirates, we will take similar steps with the others," Erdogan told Turkish reporters on board his plane returning from a trip to Turkmenistan at the weekend, NTV broadcaster reported.

He suggested Turkish ambassadors could be sent back to Egypt and Israel and said he was planning a return visit to the UAE in February.

"Now when we have made our decision, we will of course be in a position to appoint ambassadors within a defined schedule," Erdogan said, without offering a timeline.

Turkey and Egypt broke off relations after the 2013 overthrow of ex-Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was supported by Erdogan.

They expelled their respective ambassadors and downgraded their relations in 2013.

In 2018, Turkey ordered out Israel's ambassador over the killing of protestors along the Gaza Strip border.

Turkey sought a rapprochement with Egypt earlier this year despite supporting opposing sides in the conflict in Libya.

In March, Ankara said it had established its first diplomatic contacts with Cairo since 2013, while the Turkish foreign minister in April heralded a "new era" in ties with Egypt.

The two countries held talks again in September as efforts continued towards normalising their relations without significant progress.

The UAE's first high-level visit to Turkey since 2012 last Wednesday led to the announcement of a $10 billion (8.86 billion euros) fund for investments in Turkey, a day after the Turkish lira crashed amid a turbulent period for the economy.

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