Egypt, Turkey start joint war games

Egyptian and Turkish naval forces started a week-long joint military exercise in the Mediterranean on Sunday, an Egyptian military official said.

The official, who asked not to be named, said Monday that five Egyptian navy units and aircraft are taking part in the drills, dubbed "The Sea of Friendship."

The same official added that Egypt will engage with the US Army in another military exercise dubbed "Bright Star" during the second half of 2013. The biannual drill, a cornerstone for US-Egyptian military relations, was cancelled in 2011 due to the political turmoil that followed the fall of Egypt's former ruling regime.

In 2009, troops from Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey took part in the Bright Star exercise.

Turkey expressed early support for Egypt's January 2011 revolution in its earliest stage. Since his election in June, President Mohamed Morsy has sought to improve Egyptian relations with Turkey. He attended a conference of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party late September. During the visit, Turkey approved a LE1 billion loan for Egypt.

Edited translation from MENA

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