Erdogan says keen to end rupture with Egypt, avoid problem in Mediterranean: Turkish media

Amr Kandil , Sunday 27 Nov 2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during their meeting on the sidelines of the World Cup in Qatar last week that he is keen to end the rupture between Turkey and Egypt and avoid a problem between the two countries in the Mediterranean.

Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi shaking hands with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Doha, Qatar in the presence of Qatar s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad before the inauguration ceremony of Qatar 2022 World Cup, 20 November. Egyptian Presidency


Erdogan made the remarks in a recorded interview on Saturday that was reported on by Turkish and other media outlets.

The Turkish president said in the interview that the process of building Egyptian-Turkish relations will start with ministerial-level talks, then meet with President El-Sisi, according to Bloomberg.

Erdogan said he spoke with President El-Sisi on the sidelines of the World Cup for 30-45 minutes under mediation from Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to end nine years of rupture in relations.

Last week, the Egyptian and Turkish presidents shook hands with the Qatari emir in the background as they attended the opening game of the World Cup in Qatar in a sign of thawing in the relationship between the two countries.

Erdogan added in the interview that "just as Turkey's relations with Egypt have started to improve, this can also happen in our relationship with Syria."

"There is no place for a lasting rupture in politics," he said.

Erdogan said "that there were some who wanted to benefit from the break between Turkey and the the Gulf countries in a certain period, but their plans failed when we ended this rupture."

He stressed that his country's relations with the UAE are in a "very good position" currently.

After El-Sisi met with Erdogan in Qatar, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement that the two presidents agreed to start developing bilateral relations between the two countries and affirmed the deep historical relations binding the two countries and their peoples. 

"It was agreed [during the meeting] that this would be the beginning of the development of bilateral relations between the two sides," the Egyptian presidency added.

Last year, Cairo and Ankara held two rounds of exploratory talks – headed by the Egyptian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers – to mend ties that were ruptured due to Ankara's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt deems a terrorist organisation.

However, in October of this year,  Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the dialogue between Egypt and Turkey to normalise ties had come to a stop over Turkish actions in Libya.

Tensions between Egypt and Turkey resurfaced in early October after Turkey signed a series of preliminary economic agreements with Libya's Tripoli-based GNU government on hydrocarbon exploration in Libya's Mediterranean waters.

Egypt has rejected these agreements between Ankara and Tripoli, saying that the GNU’s mandate has expired and that it is not authorised to sign such deals.

Cairo has also rejected previous maritime demarcation agreements signed between Ankara and a previous government in Tripoli as violations of international law.

Egypt has also rejected recent Turkish efforts to search for natural gas in areas in the east Mediterranean in areas that Cairo recognises as part of Cypriot and Greek waters.

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