Turkish expert: Egypt stance toward Iran affected by Cairo-Riyadh ties

TEHRAN, Dec. 13 (MNA) – Turkish Political analyst Semih Idiz says Cairo's position on Iran is driven not only by its close ties to Saudi Arabia, but because as a major Arab power it is also concerned about the increasing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been at loggerheads with the current Egyptian administration since his close ally, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, was ousted by the military in 2013.However, statements by members of his ruling Justice and Development Party shortly before the attempted 2016 coup indicated that Turkey’s attitude toward Egypt had begun to shift.

Recent President Erdogan’s message of condolence to El – Sisi after the terrorist attack on the Egyptian mosque seems to be another signal from Ankara to mend ties with Cairo.

Answering the question whether President Erdogan’s message to his Egyptian counterpart is sign of his tendency to tackle differences with Cairo, Turkish Political analyst Semih Idiz, told, “Turkey sent a message of condolence for those killed in the attack in Egypt out of Islamic/Sunni solidarity. This was after all an attack on a mosque during prayers. There are no indications, however, that Turkey is trying to get closer to Egypt. The two countries remain barely on talking terms.”

Commenting on Turkey’s concerns over Saudi Arabia and Egypt relation and their joint stance on “Muslim Brotherhood” as terrorist group which is contrary to Turkey’s attitude, Idiz went on to say, “The Egyptian-Saudi alliance, on the other hand, especially against the Muslim Brotherhood, is too strong for Turkey to be able to disrupt.”

Referring to negative and hostile policy of Egypt toward Iran during past years and its roots and the Saudi role, the Turkish analyst noted, “ Cairo's position on Iran is driven not only by its close ties to Saudi Arabia, but because as a major Arab power it is also concerned about the increasing Iranian influence in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia backed the coup against Morsi in Egypt so the Cairo-Riyadh axis will hold firm, and will, I believe, Saudi affect Egypt's policy on Iran.”

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 130192

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