Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi travelled to Turkey early Sunday for his first visit as president. He is scheduled to spend just 12 hours in the country before returning to Cairo.
Presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali stated on Saturday that Morsi would meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reinforce bilateral ties.
He is also set to attend the conference of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party.
Ali also stated that economic matters were of central importance and that “Egypt has a lot to learn from Turkey's significant economic progress in recent years.”
Accompanying Morsi are fifty Egyptian businessmen, including Hassan Malek, a leading businessman and Muslim Brotherhood figure; Ahmed El-Wakeel, head of the General Chambers of Commerce Federation, and Sherif El-Gabaly, chairman of Polyserve Fertilisers and Chemical Group, amongst others.
Syria will also be on the agenda following Morsi’s initiation in early September of the Islamic Quartet – which includes Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia – in an attempt to solve the ongoing crisis in the country.
Turkish presidential advisor Ershad Hurmuzlu stated that Morsi’s visit was a significant turning point in establishing closer ties between the two countries.
He added that there was a widely held consensus in Turkey about Egypt’s pivotal role in the Arab and Islamic world.
Hurmuzlu also stated that increased cooperation between the two countries would help establish peace and security in the Middle East and the entire Mediterranean region.
The visit is seen as an attempt to strengthen the emerging alliance between two moderate Islamist governments. Morsi has frequently said he aims to learn from Turkey's experience.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Egypt in early September and pledged $2 billion in aid to the Egyptian government in an attempt to boost the flagging economy.