Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Ankara is seeking a partnership between Turkey and Egypt that will create a new axis of power in the Middle East at a time when US influence in the region is waning.
“This will not be an axis against any other country — not Israel, not Iran, not any other country, but this will be an axis of democracy, real democracy,” Davutoglu said in an interview published in Monday's New York Times. “That will be an axis of democracy of the two biggest nations in our region, from the north to the south, from the Black Sea down to the Nile Valley in Sudan,” he added.
Davutoglu predicted increased economic cooperation between the two countries, saying Ankara's $1.5 billion investment in Egypt would rise to $5 billion within two years, and total trade would grow from its current $3.5 billion to $5 billion.
“For the regional balance of power, we want to have a strong, very strong Egypt,” Davutoglu stated. "Some people may think Egypt and Turkey are competing. No. This is our strategic decision. We want a strong Egypt now.”