After years of disagreement, the two countries are ready to intensify bilateral cooperation to establish peace in the Palestinian enclave

Turkey and Egypt find common ground in Gaza on which to base their rapprochement

El presidente turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, con su homólogo egipcio, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi - SERVICIO DE PRENSA PRESIDENCIAL TURCO / AFP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi - TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP

After years of tensions, Turkey and Egypt are ready to rebuild bilateral relations. This rapprochement was consolidated during the recent trip to Cairo by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan's visit was the first since 2012, as a year later, in 2013, the two nations suspended relations due to Ankara's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation labelled as terrorist by Egypt. 

The Muslim Brotherhood has always been the main bone of contention between Turkey and Egypt, although now, with the Gaza war, the two countries have found an issue of common interest on which to collaborate and base their rapprochement. 

Indeed, during his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Erdogan assured that Turkey was "ready" to cooperate with Cairo to rebuild Gaza. The situation in the Palestinian enclave and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas was the main topic during the meeting between the two leaders, who pledged to continue cooperating "to put an end to the bloodshed in Gaza". 

To this end, Erdogan stressed that he was determined to intensify his talks with Egypt at all levels in order to establish peace and stability in Gaza, where heavy fighting is currently raging between the Israel Defense Forces and the Hamas terrorist group.  

"We agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire and the need to achieve calm in the West Bank," said Al-Sisi, who also called for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Egypt is one of the main mediators, along with Qatar, in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Cairo has a leading role in the talks and negotiations for a truce and the release of the hostages.

Because of its border with Gaza, Egypt is one of the countries most interested in restoring peace in the region. In this regard, Cairo has made it clear on several occasions that it will not allow an exodus of refugees from Gaza across its border. 

Israel began its military operation in the Palestinian territory after an unprecedented attack by Hamas that left 1,200 Israelis dead and thousands wounded. Members of the terrorist organisation also kidnapped more than 200 people, of whom more than 100 are still in Gaza.

On the other hand, Hamas continues to launch recurrent rocket attacks on Israeli territory, which has led to the evacuation of thousands of Israeli citizens from the south of the country. The same is true in northern Israel, from where thousands have fled due to constant attacks by the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. 

Israel's response in Gaza has left more than 28,000 people dead, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health. Israel rejects these figures and accuses the terrorist group of using civilians as human shields.  

Turkey and Egypt to strengthen their partnership on a range of issues 

In addition to discussing a common path on the Gaza conflict, however, Erdogan and Al-Sisi have pledged to boost bilateral trade, energy and defence ties. In this regard, Turkey announced this month that it would provide Egypt with armed drones.

Erdogan also pledged to expand trade with Egypt to $15 billion in the short term. "I would like to emphasise the continuous connection between our peoples over the past ten years, while our trade and investment relationship experienced steady growth," Al-Sisi said for his part.