Tamer al-Shahawi, a member of the Egyptian parliament's Defense Committee, considers the regional power race between Egypt and Turkey to be one of the most pressing matters at this time. Shahawi, who is also a former intelligence officer, told Al-Monitor that Cairo has been isolated from regional leadership since the Egyptian revolution in 2011 and is now trying to re-establish its authority, Al Monitor reported.
Sisi's statement, which angered Turkey, came as the debate between Turkey and France around using the term “Genocide” was at its peak. Although Turkey acknowledges the killing of many Armenians in 1915 under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, it challenges the number of victims and refuses to use the term Genocide.
Shahawi explained that Sisi’s allusion to the Armenian Genocide was a reminder of how dangerous Turkey’s expansion could be. He pointed out that after Egypt carried out the nine executions, Erdogan denounced the EU for attending the first Arab-EU summit, held Feb. 24 in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Shahawi added, “We are trying to have regional allies, to re-establish our regional influence.” He said that, in addition to Turkey and Egypt, the regional power extends to Iran and Saudi Arabia. He believes Saudi Arabia doesn't have the kind of political and military elements needed for general regional influence, as Egypt does.
During the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 16, Sisi alluded to the Armenian massacres saying, “One hundred years ago, Egypt welcomed the Armenians after the massacres they were subjected to. They arrived to Egypt where they found security, peace and stability.”