Erdoğan Visits Egypt's Sisi to Mend Ties, Cooperate on Gaza

    Erdoğan Visits Egypt's Sisi to Mend Ties, Cooperate on Gaza
    Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan traveled to Cairo on Wednesday to meet his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, signaling a "new stage in relations" after over a decade of hostility and tension.

    • During a joint press conference after bilateral talks, Erdoğan said Turkey was determined to support Egypt to end the war in Gaza and vowed to boost bilateral trade to $15B in the short term, adding that the two countries were also considering energy and defense cooperation.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This thaw in Egyptian-Turkish relations is another sign that the region's geopolitical chessboard has significantly transformed since it was upended in 2011 during the Arab Spring. However, Cairo and Ankara still have several disagreements that must be bridged, namely Libya, energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Both sides will have to expend significant political will to resolve mutual mistrust and find rapprochement.

    Narrative B

    Though Turkey has encouraged discord in the Arab world and there are many issues yet to be resolved, ultimately, it is in the interest of Egypt, Turkey, and the region that relations between Cairo and Ankara improve. Relations were thawing already, but Israel's war on Gaza has accelerated the pace of cooperation. Concerns unrelated to Gaza, such as Libya, are also making progress, as Turkey and Egypt are reaching the same conclusions on how to end the country's political crisis.

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    At this critical juncture, it is necessary to work toward regional unity in the face of Israel's aggression in Gaza. Though Egypt and Turkey may have some political disagreements on regional issues, economic ties have only strengthened in the last decade, and they are brotherly nations both willing to set aside their differences for the sake of Palestinians in Gaza. Indeed, only political unity and regional integration can deter Israel from oppressing Palestinians.

    Pro-Israel narrative

    While this meeting does conclude reconciliation after roughly a decade of hostility, Sisi knows that Erdoğan would add nothing to ongoing diplomatic efforts to release Israeli hostages in Gaza and pause the fighting. Unlike Turkey, for which the Israel-Hamas war represents merely an opportunity to criticize Israel and expand its regional influence, Egypt has it clear that cooperation with Jerusalem is crucial for its own national security, especially due to the looming threat of Gazans crossing into Sinai.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that Turkey will directly intervene in the Israel-Gaza War before July 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter