Erdogan in Egypt for first time in years as Hamas joins Cairo hostage talks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Cairo on his first visit since 2012, sealing a thaw in ties and weighing in on indirect talks between Israel and Hamas on pausing the Gaza war.

Erdogan is welcomed at Cairo airport by his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and the two men exchange a handshake on the tarmac, footage of his arrival shows.

Erdogan, an outspoken critic of Israel’s conduct of the Gaza war, said Monday that he would discuss with efforts to halt the bloodshed with Sissi.

His arrival coincides with that of the Hamas terror group, which dispatched a delegation to Cairo today for talks mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United States.

Erdogan earlier said his meetings in Egypt, as well as the United Arab Emirates, would “look at what more can be done for our brothers in Gaza.”

“As Turkey, we continue to make every effort to stop the bloodshed,” he told a news conference.

Istanbul served as a base for Hamas political leaders before the October 7 attack. The NATO member asked Hamas chiefs to leave after some were captured on video celebrating the unprecedented attack.

Ankara in November recalled its ambassador to Israel, and has maintained intermittent communication with the Hamas leadership, who see Turkey as a potential ally in ceasefire negotiations.

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