Libyan crisis an opportunity for Turkey-Egypt rapprochement - Erdoğan adviser

Libyan conflict could be an opportunity for Turkey to initiate diplomatic relations with Egypt once again, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's adviser Yasin Aktay wrote in Yeni Şafak newspaper on Monday.

Turkey's close ties with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement have been a source of tension between Turkey and Egypt with Ankara cutting off relations with Cairo following the coup that overthrew Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and replaced him with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2013.

The two countries pay a high price due to this rupture, Aktay said, adding however that recent developments in Libya could pave the way for rapprochement.

Turkey signed two memoranda of understanding with Libya's internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) on Nov. 27, one for military cooperation which allows Turkey to deploy troops in the war-torn country, the other for the delineation of the maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean.

The deals followed the sidelining of Turkey in two agreements. Egypt, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration agreed in 2014 to cooperate in various fields, but mainly in the field of oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. In 2016, a similar agreement was reached between Israel, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.

And, Turkey's maritime deal with Libya was objected to by Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel which seek to build a pipeline carrying the gas to Europe across mentioned waters, saying that the agreement ignores territorial waters around the divided island of Cyprus and number of Greek islands.

"Why should not an agreement similar to one made with Libya be made with Egypt? Would not such an alliance between Turkey, Egypt and Libya protect and promote the rights of all three countries in the eastern Mediterranean?" Aktay said.