Turkish PM to visit Egypt, boost regional influence

By REUTERS
September 12, 2011 03:33

CAIRO - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan meets Egypt's new military rulers during a visit to Cairo starting on Monday that is likely to be scrutinized by Israel whose once cosy ties with both Muslim states have been shaken.

Erdogan's trip will be followed by visits to Libya and Tunisia, which, like Egypt, have thrown off long-time rulers, highlighting Turkey's bid to expand its regional influence.

Egypt has long viewed itself as a leading voice in the Arab world but Turkey's influence has risen steadily with its growing economic might and its assertive policy in the region, notably towards Israel, which has drawn praise from many Arabs.

"There will be rivalry over a regional role for sure. Egypt is not in a position to play such a role at the moment so Erdogan is trying to take advantage of that," said Adel Soliman, head of Cairo's International Center for Future and Strategic Studies.


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