Ankara declares normalization with Arab world / News / News agency Inforos
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Ankara declares normalization with Arab world

Ankara's initiative effectiveness raises questions

Ankara declares normalization with Arab world
Context:

In an interview with the pro-government Anadolu news outlet and in a March 12, 2021 speech on the TRT TV channel, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced the restoration of diplomatic relations and cooperation with Egypt without preconditions.

"All of these years, we have been maintaining economic, political and information ties with Egypt, engaging in global activities along with Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shoukry. In the last two weeks, we have sent several messages to the Egyptians with proposals to demarcate the Mediterranean border, open a new page in relations and forget about Turkey's support for Egypt's coup d'etat orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013," Mr. Çavuşoğlu summed up.

He is echoed by President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan who addressed his activist supporters in the ruling Justice and Development Party: "We have been constantly maintaining diplomatic, economic and information ties with Egypt, hoping to expand them after relevant negotiations. Also, there is no reason to prevent the improvement of relations with Saudi Arabia."

Blessed is he who believes…

The Egyptian leadership ignored the Turkish statements. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were interrupted after the "June 30 revolution" in 2013, after which the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power, and a military regime was introduced in the country. Currently, the relationship exists at the level of charges d'affaires alone.

So, Egypt's official authorities provided no response to the Turkish "stove-piping". And there is no hope for any prompt one: contradictions between the countries are so deep-rooted that overcoming them will take years. Moreover, the Turks do not intend to budge and will try their best to achieve the objects in view.

Why are Erdogan and Çavuşoğlu trying to indulge in wishful thinking? Primarily with a view to preserving the "brave face on the defeat" and easing public discontent, at least partially: the Turkish lira keeps rapidly devaluing over economy shrinking, incommensurable military expenses, the growing number of Syrian refugees stationed in the country, and other reasons. At the same time, Qatar, Turkey' "rich" ally, has significantly reduced funds allocation to maintain Turkish-loyal militants in Syria and Libya, as well as Syrian refugees. All the more so as Qatari leaders have recently begun a stepwise drift towards their traditional ally as represented by Saudi Arabia. Who, besides the Arabs, can be closer and more reliable to Qatar?

The Egyptians will never agree to a unilateral revision of the existing maritime borders, thereby betraying state interests and violating agreements with the Greek Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.

It should be recognized that Ankara's statements immediately followed the conclusion to negotiations in Doha between the foreign ministers of Turkey, Qatar and Russia. None other but the Turks are trying to attach historic significance to this. In fact, Ankara found itself in a hugely complicated situation between the devil and the deep sea: it would like to remain both a loyal ally of the United States and a "friendly calf" for Russia.

Moreover, there is also a need to somehow "save face" in Syria, where Moscow no longer can and apparently won't tolerate the armed presence of bandit groups in that country's north-west. Ankara will need to explain the subordinate gangs why they will have to be destroyed by the Syrians and Russians.

The situation is also negative in Libya, where the Turks have not been able to fully meet their goals. Here, the Ottomans seem to have clung to the security cooperation agreement. But a new government has already come to power, with its policy towards Turkey unknown. The Turks in Libya have the leverage to "turn the world upside down" – 25,000 local and foreign Muslim thugs. But the Turks have enough already violated all the UN-stipulated deadlines for the withdrawal of Syrian mercenaries.

The Turks come under a lot of pressure in this regard – the UN, the United States, Russia, Egypt, the Arab League, and Western Europe. And they hate to lose influence in Libya, where oil flows like a river, and gas can be plastered on bread. That's what the Ottomans are run off their feet in Ankara: the grapes are sour.

And as if to make things even worse, devil has led Recep Erdogan astray to claim the Crimean Peninsula's separation from Russia. Badly timed...

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