Turkey strives for alliance with Egypt: top diplomat

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WASHINGTON: Turkey’s top diplomat predicted in an interview published Sunday that his country would form an alliance with a reformed Egypt, creating a new democratic axis of power in the Middle East.

"This is what we want," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told The New York Times.

"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," he added.

"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."

Davutoglu also predicted that Turkey’s $1.5 billion investment in Egypt would grow to $5 billion within two years and that total trade would increase to $5 billion from $3.5 billion by the end of 2012 and reach $10 billion by 2015, the Times said.

"For democracy, we need a strong economy," he said.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by Davutoglu, last week visited Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the three Arab countries that have undergone revolutions this year.

As many 280 businessmen accompanied the Turkish delegation, and Davutoglu said they signed about $1 billion in contracts in Egypt in a single day, according to the paper.


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