Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi shaking hands with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdo an in Doha, Qatar and in the background Qatar s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamed on Sunday before the inauguration ceremery of Qatar 2000 World Cup
Neither side has issued any statement about the meeting, but a photo showing the two presidents shaking hands before the inauguration ceremony has gone viral.
The meeting between El-Sisi and Erdogan, both of whom have been invited by Qatar to attend the World Cup inauguration, comes nearly two weeks after the announcement by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that the dialogue between Egypt and Turkey to normalise ties had come to a stop, as Turkish practices in the conflict-torn Libya remain unchanged.
Cairo and Ankara held two rounds of exploratory talks last year – headed by the Egyptian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers – in a bid to mend their ruptured relations.
The split between the two countries dates to the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, who was backed by the government of Erdogan, Turkey’s then prime minister.
The crisis in Libya, which borders Egypt to west, has further strained relations between the two countries as Turkey has introduced thousands of paid Syrian fighters into the conflict as well as continued its support of the outgoing Government of National Unity (GNU), which is headed by Abdel-Hamid Dbeibah.
The situation heated up in early October after the Tripoli-based GNU government signed a series of preliminary economic agreements with Turkey that might include energy exploration in maritime areas.
Egypt asserts that the GNU’s mandate has expired and that it is not authorised to sign such deals.
Despite the political split between Cairo and Ankara, the two countries still have ongoing economic relations.
According to Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Turkey topped the countries Egypt exported to in the first half of 2022, with 8 percent of total Egyptian exports.