The editor-in-chief of the pro-Egyptian regime newspaper, Al Watan, has put forward ten conditions that Turkey must meet before Cairo agrees to “resume talks” with Ankara.
Writing on his Facebook page in 12 March Ahmed Elkhateeb listed the conditions that Cairo has stipulated following a series of public overtures by Turkish officials to end the diplomatic stand-off with Egypt.
The conditions are:
1) No maritime demarcation between the two sides without rules of the international law. It is necessary that Turkey undertakes to adhere to maritime international law. Ankara has so far refused to sign or recognise this law.
2) There would be no political communication until Cairo is sure about the compliance of the Turkish side to general observance. The communication would remain solely at the security level since political communication does not occur with states that sponsor terrorism, according to Egypt.
3) There would be no Egyptian-Turkish agreement in the East Mediterranean except after a Turkish comprehensive agreement with the European allies, and specifically with the Greek and Cypriot sides.
4) Turkey’s departure from Libya politically, militarily and security wise; abandoning the Libyan file completely and pledging to withdraw the mercenaries it brought to the Libyan territories.
5) Putting forward a timetable for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from northern Syria and signing a binding agreement with the Iraqi government pledging never to intervene in Iraqi territories.
6) The negotiations would have to include the Saudi and UAE sides and Turkey would have to apologise for the offences perpetrated in recent years by Turkey against the Gulf states. Furthermore, Cairo would not conclude any understandings with Turkey unless Ankara pledges not to ever intervene in the affairs of the Arab states and to observe the contours of Arab national security.
7) Stopping all Muslim Brotherhood media outlets that attack Egypt in particular and the Gulf states in general. Turkey would also be banned from embracing any political activity by the Muslim Brotherhood on its territories.
8) Freeing the hand of Interpol to deal with all those who are wanted and happen to be present on Turkish soil and not objecting to European authorities, specifically, dealing with them (Cairo does not request their extradition and does not intend to). It is to be noted that Ankara has offered to hand them over to Egypt in batches so as to appease the Egyptian side.
9) The Egyptian security authorities would monitor the behaviour of the Turkish regime and check the extent of its compliance with these conditions in the coming period. And before engaging in any other communication, a report will be submitted by the Foreign Ministry to the Egyptian political leadership about this.
10) Turkey would not be invited to join the East Mediterranean Forum before Egypt, Greece and Cyprus have agreed to maritime demarcation in the Mediterranean and to the aforementioned conditions.
Observers point out that even if these conditions do represent a wish list of the Sisi regime, it is highly unlikely that they will ever be met. After listing 13 similar demands for the restoration of diplomatic ties with Qatar, Egypt and its Gulf allies have quietly ended their blockade, without Doha meeting any of their demands.
This article has been published first in MEMO