Egyptian intelligence chief seeks coordination against Turkey's plans

Kamel described the Turkish plans as "the most dangerous for the Arab region since the accession to power of President Erdogan."
Tuesday 18/02/2020
A 2018 file picture of Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel in Khartoum. (AFP)
A 2018 file picture of Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel in Khartoum. (AFP)

PARIS - Sources in Paris confirmed to The Arab Weekly that the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Agency (GIS), Abbas Kamel, has secretly visited several countries of the Middle East and North Africa in recent days. 

The purpose of Kamel’s visits was to discuss the formation of an intelligence alliance between Egypt and the countries visited in order to pave the way for closer military cooperation that would counter Turkey's increasingly aggressive designs in the region. 

Kamel is said to have described Turkish plans as "the most dangerous for the Arab region since the accession to power of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan."

The sources said Kamel presented to his interlocutors in the countries he visited highly sensitive information on Turkish activities in the region, including operations in Libya and Syria in addition to developments regarding Turkey’s military presence in Qatar and the Horn of Africa.

The top Egyptian intelligence official is said to have discussed sensitive information about Turkey's strategy in the Middle East and Africa and its new plans for intelligence and military deployment. 

Among Turkey's immediate goals, he said to have pointed out, is to cultivate more local proxies and human intelligence assets so as to expand Ankara's influence in the region and leverage such influence in future negotiations with the Europeans, Russians and Americans.

The Egyptian intelligence chief is reported to have succeeded in achieving one main goal of his tour: clinch an agreement on creating a high-level "joint operations room" that would include high-level representatives of the security services of countries interested in confronting the Turkish plan.

Sources did not disclose the names of the countries visited by Kamel but said many of these countries have expressed similar wariness about Ankara's moves and their willingness to contribute to any coordinated effort that would prevent any additional Turkish military buildup in the region.

Appointed head of the GIS in 2018, Abbas Kamel had previously served as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's chief-of staff.