Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymak will meet with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo today. Today’s visit comes amidst a
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymak will meet with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo today.
Today’s visit comes amidst a recent push, at the behest of the Turkish government, to seek rapprochement with Egypt after eight years of strained relations. In the past, Turkey has sparred politically with Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and Israel over maritime issues in the Mediterranean Sea. Most recently, disagreements over hydrocarbon exploration and exclusive economic zones (EEZ) further deteriorated relations in 2019 and 2020.
Assuming rapprochement continues, Ankara will likely pursue an EEZ deal with Cairo. This deal could potentially provide Egypt with greater access to the Eastern Mediterranean than it currently maintains. As Egypt became a net exporter of gas in 2018, greater access to the Mediterranean could transform Egypt into a regional energy hub. Additionally, an agreement could help Turkey disrupt the growing collaboration between Egypt, Greece, Israel, and Cyprus, which poses a threat to Ankara’s desire to become a net exporter of energy. Breaking up their collaboration could push Greece, a long-time Turkish adversary, into isolation. However, given the political tensions between Turkey and nearly all other countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean and the EU, it is unlikely that a deal will be struck in the near-term.
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