• Turkish delegation to visit Egypt next week, will discuss Libya security
Turkish talks with Egypt next week could forge renewed co-operation between the regional powers and help efforts to end the war in Libya, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said.
Relations have been strained since Egypt’s army toppled a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood president close to Turkey in 2013 in what Ankara said was a military coup.
Recently, however, Turkey has begun working to rebuild ties with Egypt and Gulf Arab states, trying to overcome differences.
Intelligence chiefs as well as foreign ministers of both countries have been in contact, and a Turkish diplomatic mission will visit Egypt in early May, Erdogan’s spokesman and adviser Ibrahim Kalin told Reuters in an interview.
“Given the realities on the ground, I think it’s in the interests of both countries and the region to normalise relations with Egypt,” he said.
“Rapprochement with Egypt ... will certainly help the security situation in Libya because we fully understand that Egypt has a long border with Libya and that may sometimes pose a security threat for Egypt,” Kalin said.
He said Turkey would discuss security in Libya, where a UN-backed transitional government took over last month, with Egypt and other countries.
However, despite a United Nations call for all foreign forces to leave the country, he indicated that Turkish military officers and allied Syrian fighters would be staying.
“We have an agreement that is still holding there with the Libyan government,” the spokesman said, referring to a 2019 accord which paved the way for decisive Turkish intervention in support of the Tripoli-based government.
Alongside its Egypt initiative, Turkey has sought to improve ties with Gulf Arab heavyweight Saudi Arabia, which were thrown into crisis by the 2018 killing in Istanbul of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad.
“We will seek ways to repair the relationship with a more positive agenda with Saudi Arabia as well,” Kalin said.
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