Turkey's southward strategy aims to boost clout in Middle East

15:15, July 22, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Turkish President Abdullah Gul's two-day visit to Egypt marked his first to the Middle East heavyweight since Israel's deadly raid on an international aid ship bound for Gaza in May.

With its ties with Israel deteriorating and its bid to join the European Union (EU) stuttering, Turkey is looking to engage more with Arab countries and intends to boost its clout in the Middle East by reaching out to the south, to Arab nations, experts say.


During talks in Cairo Wednesday, Gul and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed "efforts to revive the Middle East peace process and other regional developments of mutual interest," Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.

Speaking at a press conference after the talks, Egypt's presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad underlined the strength of relations between the two countries, denying rumors that Cairo and Ankara are vying for a regional leading role.

The two leaders have agreed to launch strategic relations between Cairo and Ankara "under the chairmanship" of the two prime ministers, he said.

They also agreed to increase the volume of trade, which is currently estimated at about 2 billion U.S. dollars, to 5 billion dollars by 2012, in addition to their commitment to establishing a Turkish industrial zone in 6th of October City, some 30 km west of downtown Cairo, Awad said.

Of note was Gul's attendance with Mubarak at the commencement and parade at Egypt's Army Military Academy before their meeting, a first for a non-Arab head of state.

【1】 【2】 【3】


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows strong wind blows trees in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Typhoon Nesat heads towards south China and is moving at an average wind speed of 20 km per hour toward the west coast of China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Hou Jiansen)
Hot Forum Discussion