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Turkey faces rough road to normalization with Egypt

Turkey’s reconciliation with Egypt is not likely to be easy, but progress after the first high-level meeting between the two sides could mark a new course in Ankara’s foreign policy and pave the way for its reconciliation with the Gulf heavyweights as well.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal (C) and his delegation meet with their Egyptian counterparts in the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Egypt's capital, Cairo, on May 5, 2021. Turkey and Egypt have begun slowly warming ties as they vie for regional primacy a decade after the Arab Spring, but analysts say deep-seated mistrust means full normalization will take time. The talks come nearly two months after Ankara established the first diplomatic contacts with Cairo since 2013 as part of wider efforts t
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Turkey’s quest for fence-mending with Egypt led to the first high-level bilateral talks on the issue May 5, but Ankara could hardly hope for easy progress as normalization with Egypt depends closely on broader changes in Turkey’s regional policies.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — well aware that Egypt’s terms for normalization reflect also the expectations of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — phoned the Saudi king on the eve of the Turkish-Egyptian talks in Cairo. According to the state-run Anatolia news agency, Erdogan extended his good wishes “on the occasion of Qadr Night, to be marked this week, and the approaching Eid al-Fitr holiday” — never mind that the feast was more than a week away.

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