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Egypt issues video of military drill in message to regional rival Turkey

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Egypt’s military releases a slick video of its Qader 2 exercise, taking place at the newly inaugurated 3 July Naval Base near the border with Libya.

The video, posted yesterday, shows air, land, and naval forces participating in live-fire maneuvers. The first Qader exercise took place in January 2020.

The 3 July Base was inaugurated yesterday by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, accompanied by Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

The video stresses that the base was established to help Egypt protect its maritime resources in the Mediterranean, a clear reference to Turkey.

Turkey has been aggressive in its assertion of gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean, while Egypt hosts the EastMed Gas Forum that includes Turkish rivals Israel, Greece and Cyprus.

Turkey and Egypt back opposing sides in the Libya civil war, and have been holding talks designed to forge a political solution. In addition, Turkey has been putting forth a more conciliatory line toward Egypt.

The two latest military moves by Cairo — the opening of the base and the military exercise — are messages to Ankara that while Sissi is open to exploring a new relationship, Egypt will protect its red lines in Libya and in the Mediterranean.

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