Business or politics? Egypt cancels major trade agreement with Turkey
The agreement, signed in 2012, facilitated exporting Turkey’s goods to the Gulf and African nations through Egypt's mainland via Egyptian ports
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Cairo's refusal to renew an agreement that facilitated exporting Turkish goods to Persian Gulf countries will not be of much harm to Ankara's standing in regional trade, a spokesperson for the Turkish foreign affairs ministry said.
This agreement is only "a partial issue," in Turkey's trade with the region "but it represents a major addition to the Egyptian economy," Tanju Bilgiç said, according to Anadolou news agency.
"With this action, the Egyptian government is adding a new damage to other damages it has dealt to the interests of its people," he said.
The agreement, signed in 2012, facilitated exporting Turkey’s goods to the Gulf and African nations through Egypt's mainland via Egyptian ports. It aimed to replace the Syrian land route that was closed as a result of political tensions between Ankara and Damascus.
Egypt's decision not to renew the deal, set to expire in April 2015, reflects the deteriorating relations between the two nations. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called the 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi a "coup," causing backlash in Egypt on both official and popular levels.
"The agreement will not be renewed because Egypt feels that it has already derived all the possible benefits from the agreement, with all aspects being considered," Hwaida Essam Abdel Rahman, deputy assistant foreign affairs minister for south and eastern Europe, told Ahram Online on 27 October.
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