Friday, May 24, 2024

First visit after severing of relations.. Foreign ministers of Turkey and Egypt assured that they will not return to the tense period.

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The foreign ministers of Turkey and Egypt confirmed the trend towards normalization of relations between the two countries during a joint press conference in Cairo on Saturday.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Samey Shogri said, “We are working to normalize relations with Turkey and start a new phase of joint cooperation, and I had important and frank discussions with my Turkish foreign minister.”

He added, “We have a firm position and we hope to restore relations with Turkey in a strong way, and we look forward to opening channels of communication between government agencies.”

Shokri emphasized, “Relations between Egypt and Turkey have an important status despite apathy, and there is a desire to develop relations and restore their momentum at all political and economic levels, and all sectors are open within the framework of common will. To develop and grow relations.”

For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed, “Visits between the two sides will continue, and I invite the Egyptian Foreign Minister to visit Ankara.”

“The Egyptian and Turkish presidents pledged to improve relations during their meeting in Doha, and Egypt is an important country, and we attach great importance to its role in regional issues,” he said.

The Turkish minister added, “We will do everything we can to fully normalize relations and not back down. I discussed with my Egyptian counterpart about improving relations in the economic, energy and military sectors.”

“We emphasized unity, not returning to the tense period in relations, and there will be more cooperation between Ankara and Cairo in the coming period, and we will work to develop relations between the two peoples and promote cultural cooperation. We should re-exchange ambassadors with Egypt in the coming period,” Oglu said.

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Davutoglu held talks with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo on Saturday in the first visit by Turkey’s top diplomat since the two countries severed ties for ten years.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been severely strained since former President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in July 2013 by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi when he was army chief. El-Sisi was elected president the following year.

Morsi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and an ally of Ankara, and died in prison in 2019.

Other prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood are in prison or have fled abroad. The group is banned.

Turkey’s and Egypt’s positions have diverged over the past few years in Libya, with Cairo and Ankara backing warring factions in the ongoing conflict over maritime borders in the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.

Consultations between key officials in the Turkish and Egyptian foreign ministries began in 2021, amid Turkish efforts to ease tensions with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

As part of this initial compromise, Ankara asked Egyptian opposition television channels operating in Turkey to tone down their criticism of Egypt.

Shogri visited Turkey last month to show solidarity with Turkey after the devastating earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

The Egyptian government is struggling with a severe shortage of foreign exchange, and last month Turkish companies pledged $500 million in new investments in Egypt, Reuters reported.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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