Turkey offers help to resolve Suez Canal blockage
Turkey offered Egypt to send the Nene Hatun vessel to help its operations in reopening the Suez Canal after a massive container ship ran aground, Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu told private broadcaster NTV on March 26.
“We have offered help, and we’ll send aid if they come with a positive response,” he said.
“Our vessel Nene Hatun is among the few ships in the world that could undertake such big operations,” Karaismailoğlu stated.
A massive Panamanian container cargo ship, Ever Given, ran aground while passing through the new channel in the canal on Tuesday morning.
As rescue efforts continue, authorities say it could take days to weeks to free the ship, raising fears of severe delays to oil supplies.
The Suez Canal is considered one of the most important canals and straits in the world, is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia, and is one of the main sources of foreign currency for Egypt.
Turkish officials have recently been signaling their will to mend ties with Egypt and Gulf countries.
It is a very important development that Egypt has made a tender on hydrocarbon explorations in the eastern Mediterranean, respecting Turkey’s continental shelf limits, Turkish officials earlier said.
Turkey on March 12 said it had held its first diplomatic contacts with Egypt since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted the country’s former leader, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.
“We have contacts both at the level of intelligence and foreign ministries with Egypt. Diplomatic-level contacts have started,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency and public broadcaster TRT.
Turkey’s cooperation with Egypt continues, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 12, expressing will to enhance the dialogue.
The Ankara-Cairo relationship was seriously hit by a military coup staged by Sisi in July 2013, as Turkey strongly reacted to the ousting of Morsi with strongly-worded statements from President Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time. Egypt expelled Turkey’s ambassador and Ankara downgraded relations in a tit-for-tat move, further fraying ties.
The two countries also sparred over a range of other issues, including the war in Libya where they backed rival sides, and maritime disputes in the eastern Mediterranean.