Erdogan in Egypt for 1st visit in over a decade; to hold summit with Sisi

Ahram Online , Wednesday 14 Feb 2024

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received on Wednesday afternoon his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Cairo International Airport.

Erdogan
A still photo of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the official reception ceremony held at Cairo's Ittihadiya Presidential Palace

 

An official reception ceremony was held for the Turkish President at the Ittihadiya Palace in Cairo.

The two presidents are expected to hold an Egyptian-Turkish summit and an expanded session of talks on ways to foster closer bilateral relations, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said in a brief statement.

 

 

Fahmy added that both leaders are also set to discuss a multitude of regional dossiers and challenges, primarily reaching a ceasefire in Gaza and ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid to the people in the strip.

Erdogan’s visit to Egypt – the first since 2012 – comes amid intensified Egyptian and Qatari efforts to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and help achieve a new ceasefire and detainee swap deal.

 

 

Former Egyptian ambassador to Ankara Abdel-Rahman Salah said earlier on Wednesday that Erdogan’s visit to Cairo represents an opportunity to create a new alliance to confront the issues besetting the region.

Normalization efforts
 

Both nations are moving forward with normalizing ties after a decade-long rupture; the two countries reinstated their respective ambassadors last summer.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were strained after the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy.

Three days before the visit, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan stated that Turkey has agreed to provide combat drones to Egypt.

"Normalization in our relations is important for Egypt to have certain technologies. We have an agreement to provide (Egypt) unmanned air vehicles and other technologies," Fidan said in an interview with private television A Haber, Reuters and AFP reported.

“We must have serious relations with Egypt for security in the Mediterranean,” insisted the Turkish minister during the interview.

In November 2022, El-Sisi and Erdogan briefly met on the sidelines of the World Cup in Qatar and agreed to strengthen relations while affirming their deep historical relations.

In July 2023, Egypt and Turkey announced upgrading their diplomatic relations to the ambassadorial level.

In September, both leaders met in New Delhi - on the sidelines of the 18th G20 Summit - in their first extended meeting after the two countries resumed diplomatic relations.

Cairo and Ankara held two rounds of exploratory talks in 2021 – headed by the Egyptian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers – in a bid to mend their ruptured relations.

The split between the two countries dates to the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy, who was backed by Erdogan, Turkey’s then-prime minister.

Economic relations
 

Turkish investments in Egypt stood at more than $2.5 billion by April 2023, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir said in a statement on Tuesday.

Trade exchange between the two countries hit $5.875 billion in 2023, with Egypt's exports to Turkey growing by 28 percent, compared to 2022, recording $2.9 billion

Turkey, Samir said, has become one of the largest importers and major trade partners of Egypt in 2023.

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