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Turkey Announces Beginning of ‘New Period’ with Egypt

Turkey Announces Beginning of ‘New Period’ with Egypt

Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 08:00
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Reuters

Turkey announced the beginning of a “new period" in relations with Egypt including visits and reciprocal talks that may lead to an agreement on the appointment of ambassadors.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu asserted in press statements that ties with Egypt have entered a new stage, indicating that meetings at the level of aides and diplomats will discuss possible ambassadorial appointments.

"We have not discussed (that) yet. There will be a meeting at the level of deputy ministers and diplomats. It will come onto the agenda there. A date is not clear yet.”

“After that, we will meet. The details of this will be discussed there,” he said, raising the prospect of mutual visits.

Last Saturday, Cavusoglu and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry spoke by phone and exchanged good wishes over the month of Ramadan, their first direct contact since the diplomatic push began.

Ankara ordered three Istanbul-based channels affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to stop airing criticism against Egypt, and refrain from insulting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the government.

The authorities ordered the channels to adhere to press and media honor charters and develop new programs that focus on culture, granting them a three-month deadline.

Last Sunday, the Egyptian FM announced that the latest Turkish gestures “are appreciated” adding that Egypt is eager to start talks and create relations based on international law that serves the interests of both countries.

For years, relations between Egypt and Turkey were strained after the Egyptian army toppled a Brotherhood president and Ankara welcomed the group.

Relations were also tense after Turkey's military intervention in Libya, and the issue of the gas agreements in the eastern Mediterranean.

Cairo recalled its ambassador to Ankara in 2013 after Turkey's sharp escalation against the Egyptian leadership. Turkey reciprocated the move, and the diplomatic representation of the two countries was reduced to the level of charge d'affaires, but political tension did not affect economic and trade relations.

Last month, the Turkish FM announced the return of diplomatic contacts with Egypt without preconditions at the level of intelligence and the two foreign ministries.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed intelligence, diplomatic, and economic cooperation with Cairo.

Erdogan stated that the contacts were “not at the highest level, but right below the highest level. We hope that we can continue this process with Egypt much more strongly.”

Egypt announced that it expects actions not just words from Turkey to restore full ties, stressing that Ankara must adhere to international law and end its interference in domestic affairs of Egypt and regional countries.

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