Turkey praises Egypt, signals maritime demarcation treaty

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Saturday said Egypt’s respect for Turkey’s continental shelf limits in a tender on hydrocarbon exploration in the eastern Mediterranean was a very important development.

“We have many historical and cultural values in common with Egypt. When they are put in use, we consider that there may be different developments in the coming days,” state-run Anadolu news agency cited Akar as saying during the Blue Homeland 2021 naval exercise.

Akar’s remarks follows those of Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who on Wednesday said that the country wanted to sign a deal over maritime boundaries, Arab News reported.

However, Egyptian authorities have not responded to Turkey’s positive move yet. Al Sharq newspaper reported that that Egyptian officials have not confirmed negotiation attempts with Turkey.

 

Turkey’s tactical move indicates a willingness to reduce escalatory policies in the region in order to bypass any criticism from the European Union and the US President Joe Biden’s administration, according to Arab News.

The European Summit on March 25-26 will discuss potential sanctions against Turkey’s controversial exploratory activities in the Eastern Mediterranean pushing the country not to make aggressive moves ahead of the summit.

Last year, Egypt, Cyprus and Greece released a joint declaration accusing Turkey of carrying out “provocations” in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey and Egypt have also supported opposing sides in Libya’s civil war.