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Egypt seeks to establish Arab security front against Turkey

March 2, 2020 at 3:49 am

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi (L) shakes hands with Abbas Kamel, the head of General Intelligence Directorate in Cairo, Egypt on 28 June 2018 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel has started an official tour around a number of Arab countries, with the aim to sign security agreements on “countering the growing influence of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the region.

Local media quoted intelligence sources as saying that the Egyptian army was “retreating from Libya,” adding that it was “pressing Turkey to retract its influence in North Africa.”

In recent weeks, Kamel visited Sudan, Algeria and Morocco. In Sudan, he discussed “sending more Sudanese fighters to Libya.”

The Algerian government, led by its new president Abdelmadjid Tebboune, was recently reported to have risen alerts on the Libyan situation. On 5 February, the country’s foreign minister Sabri Bogadom met the Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar to discuss the country’s crisis.

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Kamel discussed “Ankara’s friendly relations with the Moroccan Islamic movement Justice and Charity.” Kamel is yet to visit Tunisia.

Relations with Turkey have strained recently after Ankara has said it would establish a military base to support the Tripoli-based UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.

On 7 November, Ankara and the GNA reached two separate memorandums of understanding (MoU), one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.