Türkiye's FM says Ankara may re-appoint ambassador to Egypt 'soon': Anadolu

Ahram Online , Tuesday 29 Nov 2022

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed that his country may re-appoint an ambassador to Egypt in the upcoming months after a nine year absence due to frayed relations between both countries, reported Türkiye's state-run news agency Anadolu.

Mevlut Cavusoglu
Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrives for the first day of the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. AP


Political consultations between his country and Egypt could be rescheduled soon at the level of deputy ministers, Anadolu reported the top Turkish diplomat as saying to a group of reporters on Monday.

In November 2013, Cairo asked the Turkish ambassador to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Ankara due to Türkiye's opposition to the 30 June revolution.

Since then, diplomatic relations between the two countries remained at the level of charge d'affairs due to Ankara's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt deems a terrorist organisation.

Last year, Cairo and Ankara held two rounds of exploratory talks headed by the Egyptian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers.

However, in late October, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced that the dialogue had come to a stop over Turkish actions in Egypt's western neighbour Libya.

Tensions between the two countries resurfaced after Türkiye signed a series of preliminary economic agreements with Libya's Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (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.

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.

In an interview earlier this week, Erdogan confirmed that "Türkiye's relations with Egypt have started to improve."

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

He added that "there is no place for a lasting rupture in politics," indicating that the process of rebuilding relations will start with ministerial-level talks before progressing to the head-of-state level.

The Erdogan-Sisi handshake was followed by a meeting this weekend in Egypt between intelligence delegations from the two sides, reported Reuters, citing regional sources.

A Turkish official said Cairo and Ankara are set "to commence [significant] talks on military, political and commercial issues including energy projects," Reuters added.

The Egyptian presidency said in a statement that El-Sisi and Erdogan agreed during their meeting in Qatar to start developing bilateral relations, affirming the deep historical relations binding the two countries and their peoples. 

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