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Thursday, 15 April 2021

Not yet a bromance

New era of Egypt-Turkey ties coming soon? Egypt may not hold talks with Turkey if Ankara doesn’t meet several conditions Cairo has set to restore diplomatic ties, unnamed sources suggested to Al Arabiya. Until then, there’s no date set for the two sides to meet face-to-face despite recent signals out of Turkey.

A Turkish overture: Al Arabia’s report came the same day that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu declared a “new era with Egypt” and suggested that officials from both sides would meet to discuss reinstating diplomatic missions.

What are the conditions? Egypt still wants Turkey to hand over some Ikhwan figures it claims were involved in terrorist operations, not just expel them, sources noted. The Egyptian government is also seeking to prevent the naturalization of Ikhwan members residing in Turkey to be able to criminally prosecute them, Al Arabiya reported (watch, runtime 0:58). Cairo has also asked Turkey to clamp down on Ikhwan media publishing and broadcasting from Turkey, a step Ankara appears to have taken in recent weeks.

Words into actions: Ankara last month instructed media to tone down criticism of Egypt, while Çavuşoğlu has also suggested that the government is willing to sign a maritime pact with Egypt, in a move that could potentially put an end to disputes over offshore drilling and fishing rights in the EastMed.

But more will be necessary: Cairo informed Turkey that expressing goodwill alone is not enough, and that it is necessary to implement the Egyptian recommendations without delay, Al Arabiya’s sources said.

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