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Underscoring Frayed Ties, Egypt Nixes Turkey PM Hamas-Boosting Gaza Visit

Egyptian authorities will prevent Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan from going through with a plan that would have seen the Islamist official travel to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip through Egypt, according to sources who spoke to Egyptian media outlets. The development is the result of multiple Middle East dynamics. The Egyptian military has long been locked in a kind of media cold war with the Palestinian terror group. Egyptian authorities blame Hamas for violence in the country stretching back to the 2011 Arab Spring, and more recently for a series of spectacular attacks against Egyptian troops and infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt’s interim government, which took over last month after the Egyptian military stripped then-president Mohammed Morsi of power, has also been directly at odds with the Erdogan government in Turkey, which had been an early and strong supporter of Morsi. Ankara initially reacted to Morsi’s removal with outrage.

“The first step that should be made in Egypt after the army toppled the elected president is to integrate him back into the political system as a legitimate political actor, along with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party [FJP],”

Last month Cairo voiced “strong resentment” at comments made by Erdogan insisting that Morsi was Egypt’s legitimate ruler, slamming the prime minister for intervening “in internal Egyptian politics.”

[Photo: World Economic Forum / Flickr]