Egyptian, Turkish foreign ministers hold consultations in Cairo

Ahram Online , Saturday 18 Mar 2023

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry held bilateral consultations on Saturday with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is on a visit to Cairo, marking a new round of talks to normalise ties between both countries.

Egyptian, Turkish
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) meets with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Cairo on March 18, 2023. AFP


Cavusoglu arrived in the Egyptian capital earlier in the day in the first such high-level trip in more than a decade as Cairo and Ankara repair relations

The Turkish minister was welcomed at Tahrir Palace, which was formerly the headquarters for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and now serves as a venue for hosting important foreign guests.

The meeting tackled various aspects of the bilateral relationship between both countries, as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, Ahmed Abu Zeid, the spokesman for Egypt's foreign ministry tweeted on Saturday.

In a statement on Friday, Abu Zeid said Cavusoglu's visit is "the inauguration of the path of restoring normal relations between the two countries."

Cavusoglu’s trip follows Shoukry’s visit to Turkey last month, where he toured one of the areas that were worst hit by the 6 February earthquake.

Egypt has provided aid to Turkey following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi expressing in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Erdogan his condolences for the victims.

Egypt-Turkey: Thawing in relations

In recent months, relations between Egypt and Turkey have been thawing at the state level following a decade long rupture.

In November, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement that Erdogan and El-Sisi agreed during a brief encounter in Qatar during World Cup to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and affirmed the deep historical relations binding the two countries and their peoples.

In media remarks made a few days after their encounter in Qatar, Erdogan said he told El-Sisi that he is keen to end the nine-year rupture between Turkey and Egypt and to avoid a problem between the two countries in the Mediterranean.

In mid February, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly met in Cairo with a delegation of 14 representatives of Turkish companies, which are operating in Egypt or planning to start new investments in the country, to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Turkish president added that the process of building Egyptian-Turkish relations would start with ministerial-level talks, to be followed by a meeting with President El-Sisi.

In November, Cavusoglu indicated that his country may re-appoint an ambassador to Egypt in the upcoming months.

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 back to the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy, who was backed by Erdogan, Turkey's then-prime minister.

Uninterrupted economic relations

Despite frosty diplomatic exchanges, business never stopped between the two countries.

In 2022, Turkey was the largest importer of Egyptian products totalling $4 billion.

As many as 200 Turkish companies are currently operating in Egypt with an investment volume of EGP 2 billion, According to recent figures provided by the Commercial Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in Cairo Atilla Yenigun.

The Turkish business delegation which visited Egypt recently expressed to PM Madbouly their gratitude for the full support Turkish investments receive in Egypt.

The delegation stressed that Turkish companies in Egypt have not faced any discrimination from the government based on nationality in the past 15 years.

It added that Turkish companies seek to benefit from Egypt’s strategic position as a trade and investment hub in Africa in light of its preferential trade agreements signed with African countries.

The delegation also reviewed during the meeting with Madbouly plans to increase their new investments by $500 million.

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