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Common interests to outweigh lurking trouble between Egypt, Turkey

By Shaimaa Behery (Xinhua)

13:21, July 19, 2013

CAIRO, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's discontent over the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi bodes trouble between the two regional powers, but analysts here believe such an issue is "ephemeral" compared with prevailing common interests.

Recently Cairo and Ankara have been trading "hot statements" after Morsi was ousted amid mass protests against the "maladministration" during his one-year rule.

Both Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu called the ouster a "coup against democracy," which was seen as "clear intervention" by the Egyptian transitional authorities.

"Such statements represent a challenge for the people's will," Egyptian presidency media advisor Ahmed al-Moslmany said Tuesday, asking Turkish officials to prioritize the country's historical relations with Egypt and their common interests.


Yousry al-Azabawy, political expert at the al-Ahram center for political and strategic studies in Cairo, saw the Turkish response as "expected" because Morsi and Turkey had maintained a harmonious relationship due to their common ideology.

"The Turkish support was 'normal' and 'intended' to give the Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt the impression of the 'international backing'," Azabawy told Xinhua, adding that Ankara "is looking in anxiety" at the scenario in Egypt, fearing its "echo" in Turkey.

"However, the regional support, especially from the Gulf states for the new trend in Egypt will 'crack' the Turkish situation," he added, expecting the Gulf countries to exert "economic pressures" on Turkey.


Tarek Senouty, head of the international relations department of al-Ahram evening newspaper, saw that Ankara's support to Morsi was out of "dogmatic" belief rather than a "political" one, which means that even if the Turkish anger at Morsi's ouster will "disturb" the ties, it will be "temporary disturbance".

"The international relation normally passes by stages, and depends on the 'interests' not 'the agreement of the administrations'," Tarek told Xinhua.

"Turkey and Egypt have different international coordination over different matters, particularly the Syrian crisis and the Arab-Israeli conflict, so its impossible for both states to be totally disturbed by such transient incidents."

While Azabawy expected Egypt to downsize the "economic cooperation" with Turkey, in case Turkey stuck to its "aggressive" stance over the current situation in Egypt, former foreign minister's assistant Salah Fahmy saw that "common interests" between both countries will prevail, defeating any trouble which might mar the ties.

"Interests are the key word in the international relations, and both states have no interests in escalating the dispute," Fahmy told Xinhua.


Fahmy held that the future of the Egypt-Turkey ties depends largely on the way Egypt responds to Ankara's anger.

"If the Turkish stance is met by anger and violence, such as a protest at the Turkish embassy or an assault against Turkish diplomatic figures, this will get the situation escalated ...," he said.

"If the Egyptian administration deals with the dispute as a 'diplomatic difference', the difference will be 'contained' and 'demolished' in the near future," he said, noting that Egypt seems to be following the second option.

Meanwhile, Fahmy suggested that the Egyptian foreign ministry and the interim Presidency's advisor for foreign relations play a role to contain the Turkish anger by contacting Ankara's administration, explaining the reality in Egypt.

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