Al-Sisi is taking advantage of the conflicts in Eastern Mediterranean to attack Turkey

Many thought that the atmosphere of tension between al-Sisi’s regime and Turkey had begun to calm amid friendly statements from both sides of the foreign ministries in Cairo and Ankara and after intelligence talks between the two countries.

The tripartite Cyprus summit between Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus undermined these possibilities, as al-Sisi took advantage of the conference to launch a sharp attack on Turkey, and tension is returning due to the famous Eastern Mediterranean crisis.

Turkey rejected the final statement of the tripartite meeting that took place in the Roman part of the island of Cyprus and made it clear that it contained baseless allegations and accusations against it.

During the summit in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, al-Sisi said that the three countries, referring to Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus, decided to confront the provocative actions and violations taking place in the eastern Mediterranean, in reference to Ankara. Al-Sisi accused Turkey of blackmailing Europe by exploiting the illegal immigration crisis and said that Egypt does not exploit migrants’ issues as other countries do. Al-Sisi praised the tripartite cooperation mechanism between the summit parties, since its inauguration in 2014 in Cairo, noting that they have presented a successful model in demarcating their maritime borders.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused the al-Sisi regime of forsaking the Egyptian gas fields in the Mediterranean and giving them up by signing the maritime border demarcation agreement. Erdogan explained that the agreement reduces Egypt’s maritime borders in favour of other countries, and experts have indicated that it is part of the political intrigue between the al-Sisi regime and Turkey.

Cyprus summit

During the past days, the tense relations between Egypt and Turkey witnessed rapprochement signs, especially over Libya, after statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister and President Erdogan’s advisor. Ankara revealed talks between Egypt and Turkey at the level of intelligence delegations, amid reports that Egyptian media officials issued instructions to calm the atmosphere and stop attacking Turkey. The Cyprus summit came to renew tension again, and al-Sisi renewed his attack on Turkey. At the same time, politicians expressed their confusion in understanding Egypt’s foreign policy, which is characterised by clear confusion.

The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said during the Cyprus summit that Turkey is pursuing an expansionary policy that threatens the region, calling on the European Union to stop selling arms to Turkey. He added that the Turkish-Libyan maritime agreement is illegal and that Libya’s solution must happen without outside interference. Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades also launched an attack on Ankara and held Turkey responsible for increasing tension, undermining regional stability, and interfering in Syria, Libya, and the Karabakh region. Anastasiades called on Turkey not to violate Cyprus’ sovereignty, describing the exploration operations carried out by Ankara in the eastern Mediterranean as “illegal.”

Turkish response

For its part, Turkey declared its complete rejection of what it described as the false allegations and accusations that were leveled against it during the tripartite summit and affirmed that it would never give up its rights in the region. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that this tripartite bloc, which claims to seek peace, cooperation, and stability in the eastern Mediterranean, repeatedly targets Turkey, and that this targeting demonstrates its true intentions. She stressed that real cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean would only occur with the Turkish Cypriots’ participation and all the countries bordering the Mediterranean. She indicated that the solution to the region’s problems would not be achieved unless the countries that create the problems change their hostile policies towards the region.

For his part, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that Turkey refuses to accept any illogical conditions set by other parties to solve the eastern Mediterranean crisis. Akar called on neighbouring countries to engage in dialogue and solve problems within legal frameworks regarding the eastern Mediterranean crisis. Simultaneously, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay assured that his country would not give up an inch of its land or a drop of its territorial waters to anyone, not just Greece.

As for the Egyptian presidency spokesman, he said that the tripartite summit stresses the need to implement joint projects within the framework of a trilateral cooperation mechanism and address the challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East regions.