By Jeffrey Fleishman
AIRO— (MCT) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet with Egyptian leaders today to strengthen strategic ties at a time both nations are experiencing deepening rifts with Israel over military actions and the fate of the Palestinians.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been cool for years. But since the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Cairo has embarked on a foreign policy more tuned to regional public sentiment and less beholden to Israel and the United States.
Turkey and Egypt have been Israel’s closest Muslim allies, but recent tensions are altering those dynamics just as the Arab world is in the throes of revolution and political change. Animosities have been further heightened by the Palestinians’ plans to call on the United Nations this month to recognize Palestinian statehood.
Erdogan’s visit comes as Turkey is moving “to convert Egypt’s popular anger with Israel to favor Turkish regional interests,” said Nabil Abdel Fattah, an analyst with Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. “It’s a Turkish attempt build an isolating barrier to Israel’s arrogant policies in the Middle East.”
The Turkish leader, who supports swift recognition of Palestinian independence, was scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday night in Cairo. On Tuesday, Erdogan is expected to hold talks with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt’s ruling military council, before traveling to Libya and Tunisia.
The rest of this article is available by clicking the link at the top. H/T Richard for the story