Egypt denies resumption of diplomatic ties with Turkey

Egypt denies resumption of diplomatic ties with Turkey
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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier claimed that high-level diplomatic contacts between Ankara and Cairo have resumed. (Supplied)
Egypt denies resumption of diplomatic ties with Turkey
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Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a meeting with Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Doha, Qatar March 11, 2021. (REUTERS)
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Updated 13 March 2021

Egypt denies resumption of diplomatic ties with Turkey

Egypt denies resumption of diplomatic ties with Turkey
  • Relations between Cairo and Ankara broke down in August 2013 after the removal of President Mohamed Morsi

ANKARA: The Egyptian foreign ministry has denied claims by the Turkish government that there has been resumption and restoration of ties with Cairo and Gulf states.
“There is no such thing of ‘resuming diplomatic contacts’,” a number of Egyptian and Arab media outlets reported, citing an unnamed official.
Diplomatic ties between the two countries exist at the level of the charge d’affaires in accordance with the diplomatic norms, the official said.
“Upgrading the level of the relationship between the two countries requires taking into consideration the legal and diplomatic frameworks that govern relations between countries on the basis of respecting the principle of sovereignty and the requirements of Arab national security,” he continued.
“Egypt expects that any country that needs to establish normal relations with it [Egypt] should abide by the rules of international law and the principles of good neighbor policy and stop attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the countries of the region.” Turkey announced that it has resumed diplomatic contact with Egypt for the first time since breaking off relations in 2013.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier claimed that high-level diplomatic contacts between Ankara and Cairo have resumed.
“We have contacts with Egypt both at the intelligence level and at the Foreign Ministry level. Our contacts at the diplomatic level have started,” Cavusoglu said on Friday in an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency.
Cavusoglu said that neither side had put forward preconditions for the easing of relations.
The move is the result of months-long negotiations between the intelligence agencies of both countries.
“It is very likely that Egypt will demand that Turkey recalibrate its relations with the Muslim Brotherhood in return for a normalization of relations,” Selin Nasi, the London representative of the Ankara Policy Center, told Arab News.
Relations between Cairo and Ankara broke down in August 2013 after the removal of President Mohamed Morsi. Following those events, several members of the Muslim Brotherhood fled to Turkey.
Since then, Egypt and Turkey have often supported opposite sides in regional conflicts, especially during the Libyan war and the Eastern Mediterranean dispute.
Samuel Ramani, an academic and analyst at Oxford University, said it is “too early to tell” whether Cavusoglu’s offer to Egypt will lead to renewed relations between the two countries.

The Egypt-Greece eastern Mediterranean exclusive economic zone agreement makes Mediterranean security an unlikely theater of cooperation.

Samuel Ramani, Analyst

“Turkey is likely trying to build on the improvement of relations between Qatar, its closest Arab partner, and Egypt,” he told Arab News.
Ramani said the move is part of Turkey’s broader policy of trying to ease tensions with Arab states.
“The focus of its security policy could be moving toward Iraq with an intervention in Sinjar in northern Iraq, so Ankara might be trying to limit its fronts of conflict,” he said.
However, experts doubt whether Ankara will decrease its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo considers a terrorist organization.
Nasi said that, given the erosion of trust between the two countries, Cairo would like to see concrete steps from Ankara on the Muslim Brotherhood issue.
Ramani, said: “I think Turkey will offer promises to Egypt informally on the Muslim Brotherhood issue, but will be cautious about public pronouncements that could create ideological splits within the ruling Justice and Development Party and Erdogan’s electoral base.”
Turkey’s military presence in Libya is also another issue that will come into play.
Ramani said that the Libya situation could result in Turkey-Egypt cooperation on a diplomatic process.
“The Egypt-Greece eastern Mediterranean exclusive economic zone agreement makes Mediterranean security an unlikely theater of cooperation. Both disagree on Syria and have different approaches to Gulf security and Israel-Palestine, too,” he said.
“The utility of expanded economic cooperation could encourage a de-escalation on both sides, but that is as far as it goes,” Ramani added.
Egypt still rejects the controversial maritime deal between Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord. It also signed an alternative maritime deal with Greece last year to demarcate maritime boundaries.
“Turkey reportedly wants to sign maritime delineation agreements with Israel and Egypt that are similar to the one it signed with Libya,” Nasi said.
“Egypt’s maritime zone deal with Greece appears to recognize minor Turkish claims. This was interpreted in the Turkish press as an admission of Turkish sovereignty claims in the Aegean and Mediterranean.”
However, the deal also recognizes Rhodes and Crete as part of the Greek continental shelf, undermining the Turkish-Libyan maritime deal.
“That’s why it’s difficult to say Turkey and Egypt are on the same side. For them to be on the same side, one of those maritime deals needs to be nullified,” Nasi said.


Egypt to avoid future water crises through investment, minister says

Egypt to avoid future water crises through investment, minister says
Updated 06 December 2021

Egypt to avoid future water crises through investment, minister says

Egypt to avoid future water crises through investment, minister says

CAIRO: Egypt will avoid water crises through investment and construction, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aty has said.

In a presentation of the ministry’s strategy through 2050, Abdel-Aty also denied the “black propaganda” which asserts that “Egypt takes the lion’s share of Nile water.”

He said: “97 percent of our water resources come from the Nile and the rest is low percentages of rain and other outlets. Everyone must be aware of the importance of preserving water.”

As part of state efforts to avoid future water crises, the 2017-2037 strategy requires $50 billion in investment and financing, he added, saying that due to population growth, that figure could exceed $100 billion over the coming decades.

Abdel-Aty said: “The new legislation for the Water Resources Law was very necessary, and the executive regulations for this law are being prepared, and they may be completed for issuance within two or three months.”

Egypt’s water needs exceed 114 billion cubic meters annually, according to ministry statistics. Total water resources accounting for reused water numbers 80 billion cubic meters per year, while the total amount of water from renewable resources measures 60 billion cubic meters.

The ministry’s strategy will involve four main areas: Rationalizing water use, improving water quality, providing additional water sources and creating a climate for optimal water management.

“There is no doubt that the water crisis will worsen with time, but the state will not allow a water crisis to occur in Egypt. We will contribute to raising awareness of the importance of rationalizing consumption. There is an optimal utilization of water resources,” Abdel-Aty said.

“We are facing black propaganda that Egypt takes the lion's share of the waters of the Nile, and this is not true.”

He added that Egypt’s climate means that it does not have sufficient access to green water, unlike Ethiopia. “They also have more blue water, and there are lakes in Ethiopia that contain 50 billion cubic meters of water.”

Abdel-Aty said: “Efforts made by the state on the issues of good water management and rationalization have not happened since the days of Muhammad Ali. The political leadership is keen to take all measures aimed at the good management of water resources.”


Arab coalition carries out biggest operation in Marib in 24 hours

Arab coalition carries out biggest operation in Marib in 24 hours
Updated 06 December 2021

Arab coalition carries out biggest operation in Marib in 24 hours

Arab coalition carries out biggest operation in Marib in 24 hours
  • Action comes as the Arab coalition forces have been eliminating militia assets in recent weeks

RIYADH: More than 280 Houthi militia members were killed in one of the largest operations targeting the Iran-backed group in Marib in just 24 hours, the Arab coalition said Monday. 
The Arab coalition said it conducted 47 operations against the Houthi militants in Marib, during which34 Houthi vehicles were destroyed as well as ammunition storage sites, Al Arabiya TV reported.  
The action comes as the Arab coalition forces have been eliminating militia assets in recent weeks, including weapons and personnel.


UAE’s Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed meets with Iranian leader

UAE’s Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed meets with Iranian leader
Updated 06 December 2021

UAE’s Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed meets with Iranian leader

UAE’s Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed meets with Iranian leader

TEHRAN: Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE’s National Security Adviser, met with Iranian president Ibrahim Raisi on Monday, state news agency WAM said in a report.
During the meeting, both sides discussed bilateral relations between the two nations and potential ways to enhance these ties. 
Al-Nahyan and Raisi also exchanged views on several issues of common interest.


Four Iraqi Kurdish fighters killed in attack blamed on Daesh

Four Iraqi Kurdish fighters killed in attack blamed on Daesh
Updated 06 December 2021

Four Iraqi Kurdish fighters killed in attack blamed on Daesh

Four Iraqi Kurdish fighters killed in attack blamed on Daesh
  • Five other Peshmerga fighters were wounded in the violence late Sunday in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD: Four Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were killed in an attack blamed on the Daesh group, a security official said Monday, the third such assault in less than two weeks.
Five other Peshmerga fighters were wounded in the violence late Sunday in northern Iraq that targeted an outpost north of Kirkuk, the source said.
Kurdish army forces confirmed the deadly attack but did not say how Peshmerga fighters were killed in wounded, in a statement accusing Daesh of responsibility.
It was the third attack blamed on Daesh militants in less than two weeks against the Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.
On Thursday, Daesh claimed responsibility for an assault south of the Kurdish capital of Irbil that killed at least nine Peshmerga fighters and three civilians.
At the end of November, five Peshmergas were killed in a roadside bombing also claimed by the militant group.
Daesh seized swathes of Iraq in a lightning offensive in 2014, before being beaten back by a counter-insurgency campaign supported by a US-led military coalition.
The Iraqi government declared the extremists defeated in late 2017, although the Daesh retains sleeper cells which still strike security forces with hit-and-run attacks.


Israel: Palestinian car-rammer wounds guard, is shot dead

Israel: Palestinian car-rammer wounds guard, is shot dead
Updated 06 December 2021

Israel: Palestinian car-rammer wounds guard, is shot dead

Israel: Palestinian car-rammer wounds guard, is shot dead
  • Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbing, car-ramming and occasional shooting attacks in recent years
  • Most have been carried out by lone attackers with no known connection to militant groups

JERUSALEM: A 16-year-old Palestinian rammed a vehicle into an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank overnight, wounding a security guard before being shot and “neutralized” at the scene, the Israeli Defense Ministry said Monday.
Israeli media reported that the alleged attacker was killed, while a ministry official declined to comment further.
The attack came two days after a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank stabbed and wounded an Israeli man just outside Jerusalem’s Old City and tried to stab a Border Police officer before being shot and killed. Video taken by bystanders showed the police continuing to shoot the attacker after he had dropped to the ground and preventing medics from approaching him.
The shooting drew comparisons to a 2016 incident in which an Israeli soldier was caught on camera shooting a wounded Palestinian attacker who was lying on the ground. The soldier was imprisoned for several months in a case that divided the country.
The Israeli Justice Ministry said the two officers involved in Saturday’s shooting were brought in for questioning before being released without conditions. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other top officials have praised the officers’ response to the attack.
Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbing, car-ramming and occasional shooting attacks in recent years. Most have been carried out by lone attackers with no known connection to militant groups, which have praised the attacks without claiming responsibility for them.
Rights groups say Israel sometimes uses excessive force, killing suspected attackers who could have been arrested and did not pose an immediate threat. Israeli officials say forces must make split-second decisions in dangerous situations and that all such incidents are investigated.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war. The Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state. The territory’s 2.5 million Palestinian residents live under Israeli military rule, with the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority administering cities and towns.