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From East Med to Ethiopia, can Turkey's Erdogan, Egypt's Sisi form regional axis?

Following a thaw in relations and a drone sales package, Turkish-Egyptian defense cooperation and the Turkish president's upcoming visit to Egypt could generate new momentum in the region.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as they are welcomed by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, during the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Doha, Qatar on November 20, 2022 [Handout/Press Office of the Presidency of Turkey

Speaking a week before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Egypt, which is scheduled for Wednesday Feb. 14, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced that Turkey would sell drones to Egypt — displaying a 180-degree turn in Ankara-Cairo ties.

Erdogan’s historic trip to Cairo amid growing defense cooperation between the two countries may be a harbinger of new momentum in the region.

From rupture to all-out partnership

After Egypt’s 2013 military coup, Ankara-Cairo ties were all but severed. Erdogan hated the putschists not only for overthrowing his fellow Islamist ally, late President Mohamed Morsi, and his Muslim Brotherhood-led government, but also for limiting the benefits that he intended to receive from Egyptian influence in the Arab and Muslim world.

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