Doors for a new era with Cairo open

We traveled with President Erdogan’s delegation from Dubai to Cairo yesterday.

This important visit completed the normalization of Turkey-Egypt relations and opened the doors to a new era.

Egyptian President Sisi welcomed Erdogan and his delegation together with his wife, symbolically demonstrating his will to leave behind the bilateral problems of the past twelve years and to move into a new era of cooperation with the agreements signed.

This warm welcome will further strengthen the ties between two peoples with a common historical and cultural background.

As is known, a normalization process has been underway between the two countries for the last three years.

Before his Cairo visit, Erdogan and Sisi had met three times on different platforms.

Now is the time for rapid improvement in relations and cooperation in many areas…

It is also significant that Erdogan’s visit to Cairo took place in the post-October 7 period when the Israeli massacres in Gaza continued.

Erdogan’s visit was a meaningful support to Cairo at a time when the Israeli army forced the displacement of 1.5 million Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt.

The Gaza crisis is a conflict that will challenge Egypt’s already fragile economy in many ways.

In addition to Palestinian refugees, there are risks of radicalization and escalation of violence.

Cairo also faces difficulties in Ethiopia, Sudan and Libya.

Turkey and Egypt’s development of bilateral relations (increasing trade to $15 billion, cooperating in energy, tourism and defense) and seeking to join forces on regional issues (such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, problems in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, new investments and proxy wars) could have a more critical impact than other normalization processes in the region.

The two countries can turn trends of conflict and chaos in the region towards stability, peace and cooperation.

This will require diplomatic determination and speed. An example of this can be seen in the fact that with the strong will of the leaders, the normalization between Turkey and the UAE quickly turned into a strategic partnership.

The Ankara-Cairo line needs more frequent visits.

Erdogan’s invitation to Sisi to Ankara shows this need.

Learning from past tensions and showing solidarity in dealing with global and regional crises, Ankara and Cairo can undertake effective initiatives in the Middle East.

The region needs this.

I missed Cairo, which I came back to after twelve years.

In a few hours, we experienced the city of 22 million people with its rush hour traffic, the city of the dead (cemeteries) of 1 million people with satellite dishes, Al-Azhar, the immense call to prayer in its historic mosques, Khan Halili and El Fishhawi coffee house where Mehmet Akif Ersoy drank tea.

I realized again how much we have in common.

It was also meaningful for me to commemorate the memory of Mehmet Akif Ersoy, the author of our National Anthem, in Cairo.

We returned home thinking that Egypt will play a more prominent role in the Arab world in close cooperation with Turkey.

The ball is in Cairo’s court on how fast the two countries will join forces.

Auto translated from https://www.sabah.com.tr/yazarlar/duran/2024/02/15/kahire-ile-yeni-donemin-kapilari-acildi 

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