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World Egypt and Turkey seek to overhaul tense ties with frank talks on Libya

20:45  06 may  2021
20:45  06 may  2021 Source:   reuters.com

EU chief felt 'hurt,' 'alone' at meeting with Turkish leader

  EU chief felt 'hurt,' 'alone' at meeting with Turkish leader BRUSSELS (AP) — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that she felt hurt and alone during a meeting with Turkey’s president earlier this month and that she was treated poorly simply because she is a woman. Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara for talks on tense EU-Turkey relations earlier this month. But only two chairs were set out in front of the EU and Turkish flags for the three leaders. Michel took the chair next to Erdogan. Von der Leyen stood looking at the seated men, expressing her astonishment with an “ehm” sound, and a gesture of disappointment.

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt and Turkey on Thursday held talks on the conflict in Libya, where they back competing factions, on Syria and the security situation in the eastern Mediterranean, in a push to rebuild their fractured relations.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the opening ceremony of floating bridges and tunnel projects executed under the Suez Canal in Ismailia © Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh FILE PHOTO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the opening ceremony of floating bridges and tunnel projects executed under the Suez Canal in Ismailia

The discussions, held over two days and led by deputy foreign ministers, were the first high-level public talks for years between the two powers, who fell out over issues including opposing positions on political Islam and maritime borders.

This center in Turkey was a refuge for Syrian youth. The pandemic shut it down.

  This center in Turkey was a refuge for Syrian youth. The pandemic shut it down. In Turkey, a center that helped get children and youth off the streets has been closed for more than a year amid the pandemic.Salim Abdul Ghani leans on the wall of the residential building in the Akyol neighborhood in Gaziantep, Turkey, which used to be the center of his world.

Turkey has been striving to mend fences with several U.S.-allied Arab states including Egypt. Egypt has so far responded cautiously to Turkish overtures.

"The discussions were frank and in-depth. 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," a joint statement said.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends the Grand Congress of his ruling AK Party in Ankara © Reuters/UMIT BEKTAS FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends the Grand Congress of his ruling AK Party in Ankara

"The two sides will evaluate the outcome of this round of consultations and agree on the next steps."

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 fighters, two Egyptian intelligence sources said.

Despite 3-week lockdown, many remain on the move in Turkey

  Despite 3-week lockdown, many remain on the move in Turkey ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish security forces on Friday patrolled main streets and set up checkpoints at entry and exits points of cities, to enforce Turkey’s strictest COVID-19 lockdown to date. Still, many people were on the move as the government, desperate not to shut down the economy completely, kept some sectors exempt from the restrictions. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan imposed the new lockdown restrictions — which took effect Thursday evening and will last until May 17 — following an alarming resurgence that saw COVID-19 infections and fatalities reach record high levels.

Turkey said on Thursday it agrees that all foreign mercenaries in Libya need to leave the country, but Ankara has a bilateral agreement with the Libyan government for its troops to be stationed there.

The Turkish delegation also told Egyptians that Ankara could not hand over Muslim Brotherhood leaders wanted by Egypt, adding that most of those leaders had now legalized their residency in Turkey, the sources said.

Relations between the regional powers have been tense since Egypt's army toppled a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood president close to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in 2013.

Both countries expelled ambassadors and Erdogan described Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as a tyrant.

Turkey says it remains opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood being declared "terrorists" by Egypt, despite asking Egyptian opposition television channels operating on its territory to moderate criticism of Sisi's government.

Turkish officials did not comment on the content of the talks. However, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara is fully open to improve its ties with every country in the region, not just Egypt.

"So Egypt and Turkey moving together will provide serious contributions to the region's peace and development. God willing, we will see this in the coming period," he said during an interview with broadcaster NTV.

(Reporting by Aidan Lewis, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Alaa Swillam and Mahmoud Mourad in Cairo; Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Mark Heinrich, Alexandra Hudson)

Unholy Alliance? What's Uniting Greece, Israel, Cyprus and the UAE? | Opinion .
Europe is increasingly being enmeshed in Middle Eastern rivalries and geopolitical strife. Harun Karčić is a journalist and political analyst based in Sarajevo covering foreign influences in the Balkans. He tweets @HarunKarcic.The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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