We hope to take relations with Cairo to 'highest level' because 'Egyptians are our brothers': Erdogan

Ahram Online , Friday 19 Aug 2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey continues contacts with Egypt at level of ministers, and is hoping to take this step at "highest level" in the best way possible "because people of Egypt are our brothers," Anadolu news agency reported.

Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Lviv, Ukraine, on Thursday, Aug, 18, 2022. AP

 

"The people of Egypt are our brothers, It is not possible for us to be offended with the Egyptian people," Erdogan told reporters on Thursday on board the presidential plane following a one-day working visit to Ukraine, according to the Turkish news agency.

Erdogan, Zelenskyy, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gathered in the Ukrainian city of Lviv to discuss steps to end the Ukraine-Russia war through diplomatic means and maintain a mechanism recently established for the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets.

Ankara has been pushing for efforts to mend ties and bridge differences over several crises in the region with Egypt and other Gulf Arab states.

Egypt and Turkey relations were strained after the 2013 ouster of late Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, who was backed by the government of Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister, as well as Ankara’s repeated criticisms of Egypt.

The two countries have also been at odds over some regional issues, atop of which is Libya due to Turkey's introduction of thousands of paid Syrian fighters into the conflict.

Harbouring members and leading figures of the Muslim Brotherhood – designated as a terrorist group in Egypt in late 2013 – as well as allowing them to voice their anti-Egyptian government rhetoric on Turkish TV channels are also deemed among the essential reasons behind the deterioration of the ties between the two countries.

However, recent normalisation efforts included holding two exploratory rounds of talks in 2021 headed by deputy foreign ministers of both countries as well as Turkey requiring Egyptian opposition television channels operating in the country to abate criticism of Cairo.

Following the second leg of exploratory talks in September 2021, a joint statement issued by the Egyptian and Turkish foreign ministries said the both sides agreed to continue engaging in exploratory talks between them in the future.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Bloomberg TV then that Egypt is “eager to find a resolution” and a formula for restoring normal relations with Ankara, but, he said, "more work needs to be done" to reach such a step.

In recent months, Turkish President and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated in statements that more progress toward normalising ties with Egypt would take place.

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