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News ID: 89950
Publish Date : 07 May 2021 - 20:50
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CAIRO (Middle East Eye) – Egypt and Turkey said they had held "frank” discussions during the first official diplomatic talks between the regional rivals for eight years, a joint statement said.
"The discussions were frank and in-depth,” the statement released by Cairo and Ankara said on Thursday.
"They addressed bilateral issues as well as a number of regional issues, in particular the situation in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and the need to achieve peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean region,” it added.
A Turkish delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, met on Wednesday and Thursday in Cairo with an Egyptian team led by his counterpart, Hamdi Loza.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been sparring since the military’s 2013 deposing of President Mohamed Morsi, personally backed by Erdogan.
Erdogan said on March 12 that the two countries have held "intelligence, diplomatic and economic” contacts, adding that he hoped for "strong” ties between the two nations.
A week after Erdogan’s remarks, his government asked three Istanbul-based Egyptian TV channels, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, to soften their critical political coverage of the Egyptian government. The TV channels immediately stopped broadcasting some political programs.
Egypt welcomed the move, calling it a "good initiative from the Turkish side that establishes a favorable atmosphere to discuss issues of dispute between the two nations”.
The two countries have also been on opposite sides of the conflict in oil-rich Libya, which descended into chaos in the aftermath of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that overthrew ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
According to two Egyptian intelligence sources, Turkey is ready to hold a tripartite meeting between Turkish, Egyptian and Libyan officials to agree on disputed issues in Libya, including the presence of foreign militants.
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