Egypt, Turkey take another step towards normalizing relations

Egypt, Turkey take another step towards normalizing relations

On March 18, 2023, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry R and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu give a joint press conference in Cairo. On Saturday, PHOTO AFP CAIRO Egypt and T rkiye took another step towards mending relations when Ankara's top diplomat visited Cairo for the first time since ties were ruptured a decade ago and held talks with his Egyptian counterpart.

Relations were severely strained in 2013 after Egypt's then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, an ally of Ankara, but have gradually thawed since 2021.

At a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said T rkiye would regain diplomatic relations with Egypt to ambassadorial level at the appropriate time. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the talks with Egypt would be honest, deep and transparent Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said T rkiye would improve its diplomatic relations with Egypt to ambassadorial level as soon as possible.

I'm very glad that we are taking concrete steps for normalizing relations with Egypt. Cavusoglu said we will do our best not to rupture our ties in the future.

The United States welcomed the visit. In a show of solidarity, Shoukry visited T rkiye in a show of solidarity after the massive earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in T rkiye and Syria - the first visit by Egypt's top diplomat since relations soured, according to White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who said it was an important step towards a more stable and prosperous region.

There is a political will and directives from the presidents of both countries when they met in Doha to launch the path towards a full normalization of relations, Shoukry said.

He was talking about a meeting between Sisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Qatar World Cup, where they shook hands.

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Erdogan once called Sisi a tyrant after he overthrowed Mursi, who was an ally of the Turkish leader and his Islamist-rooted AK Party.

Consultations between senior foreign ministry officials in Ankara and Cairo began in 2021, amid a push by T rkiye to ease tensions with Egypt, the UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

As part of that tentative reconciliation, Ankara asked Egyptian opposition TV channels operating in T rkiye to moderate their criticism of Egypt.

Mursi died in Egypt in 2019. Other senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood are jailed in Egypt or have fled abroad, and the group remains outlawed.

Cairo and Ankara have also been in conflict over Libya, where they supported opposing factions in an unresolved conflict and maritime borders in the gas-rich Eastern Mediterranean.

Last month, Egypt, struggling to manage an acute foreign currency shortage, said Turkish companies had committed to $500 million in new investments in Egypt.