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Erdoğan Entices Egypt, et al to End Enmity

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday continued his schmooze campaign of the Middle East, proclaiming his “love” of the Egyptian people and urging Cairo and Gulf states to collaborate with Ankara on “a wide spectrum of areas,” from the Eastern Mediterranean to Libya. “Our desire is to use these opportunities for cooperation at the maximum level and improve our ties on a win-win basis,” Turkey’s strongman leader said in a Tuesday interview. In recent weeks, Erdoğan has attempted to shift course and repair fraught relations with Muslim countries in the area, sending diplomatic delegations to Egypt and Saudi Arabia after years of discord. Ties with regional powers deteriorated thanks to the Libyan civil war, which attracted Egypt (and the Emirates) and Turkey to back opposing sides; naval disputes in the Mediterranean; and the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Riyadh hitmen on Turkish soil. Current Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s toppling in 2013 of then-President Mohammed Morsi, who was associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and closely aligned with Ankara, initiated the mutual hostility between the two states.