Turkiye’s foreign minister confirmed that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi last December in Doha had offered a main turning point in the course of normalizing relations between Ankara and Cairo.
Speaking to the Turkish press on Monday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his recent meeting with Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry discussed Libya and energy in the eastern Mediterranean.
Cavusoglu said Egypt was initially disturbed by Turkiye’s presence in the region but they affirmed that their presence did not pose a threat to Egypt, adding that the two countries agreed they were not rivals in Libya and that they should work together for the stability of Libya, vowing to intensify their consultations on this issue.
The Turkish foreign minister affirmed that his recent meeting with Shoukry on Saturday in Cairo was “fruitful.”
Cavusoglu said they agreed to “maximize” diplomatic relations, and that he invited Shoukry to visit Ankara.
“We exchanged views, especially on regional issues. Then we held a meeting between delegations and discussed everything. In other words, we touched on all matters from energy, shipping, transportation to our companies, and investments here,” he said, adding that topics related to energy, logistics, education, and culture were also addressed.
“The Egyptian side wants Turkish companies to increase their investments in Egypt. Our trade has approached $10 billion. Due to LNG imports, the balance is in their favor, but we are not complaining about it,” said Cavusoglu.
Turkiye wants to make a longer-term LNG agreement, he said and added, “Thanks to our LNG terminals, we are currently exporting gas to southeast European countries and Balkan countries. Therefore, Egyptian gas can be exported to third countries via Turkiye.”
Noting that the resumption of Ro-Ro expeditions, developing defense cooperation and increasing the dialogue between the militaries were discussed, Cavusoglu stated that cooperation issues between universities and student exchange were also on the agenda.