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Turkey's Erdogan plans to visit Egypt on Valentine's Day

Turkish president's first visit to Cairo since the 2013 Sisi-led coup could boost bilateral relations after years of tensions
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as they are welcomed by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (2ndR) on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar, 20 November 2022 (AFP)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L) shakes hands with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, 20 November 2022 (AFP)
By Ragip Soylu in Istanbul

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a visit to Egypt next month for the first time in 12 years to boost ties, several sources told Middle East Eye this week. 

Two Turkish sources familiar with the visit said Erdogan is expected to visit Cairo on 14 February, symbolically on St Valentine’s Day. 

Ankara has tried to repair its broken ties with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi since 2020, and a handshake between the two leaders in 2022 in Qatar progressed the normalisation of their ties pretty quickly. Both countries appointed an ambassador to each other’s capital in July. 

Erdogan’s policy towards Egypt had resulted in a disruption of relations, especially his loud protest against a military coup in 2013, which installed Sisi as head of state, and the deadly military crackdown against pro-democracy protests. 

Turkey still hosts Egyptian opposition members, but in recent years it has pressured Egyptian opposition news channels to relocate outside of Turkey, to improve its relations with Sisi's government. 

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Erdogan is expected to discuss ways to deepen bilateral trade between the countries, as well as a maritime delimitation deal concerning the energy lines in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Ankara has also been working with Cairo to pressure Israel and Palestinian groups that control the Gaza Strip into a ceasefire, since the 7 October attack. 

Some sources in Ankara expect that Erdogan might plan to visit the Rafah area to show humanitarian support to Palestinians, as both Turkey and Egypt coordinate the relief efforts for over a million displaced Palestinians. 

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