Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced the beginning of a new era in the relations between Egypt and Turkey this week. Egypt’s lukewarm response to apparent olive branches from Turkey, on the other hand, has raised questions on the success of this proposed reset by Ankara.
It was a pleasure to speak with Middle East expert Steven A. Cook, in a podcast with of Turkish Trends on Turkey and Egypt.
Cook, a senior research fellow for the Middle East and North Africa at the Council on Foreign Relations, said Egypt was in the driving seat in the reconciliation process, and thus far, Egyptian officials had not been satisfied with Ankara’s performance. He added said that in order for countries to mend ties, there were a number of Egyptian demands that Ankara needed to meet.
Cook said Egypt was taking a hard line against the Turkish presence in Libya in much the same way Greece was doing against a maritime agreement between Ankara and the administration in Tripoli. The deal, signed in November 2019, grants Turkey access to Libyan waters, cutting across territory claimed by Athens. Libyans must be worried about the prospects that Turkey is abandoning them, Cook concluded.