Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REUTERS)
Egypt criticised on Tuesday Turkey’s "blundering" regional policies hours after Ankara said that it rules out reconciliation with Cairo.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that a thaw with Egypt's "oppressive regime" is not likely any time soon, adding that his country's dispute is with Egypt's government, not its people.
He repeated his condemnation of Egypt's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood group and blasted judicial verdicts against its members.
Hours later, the Egyptian foreign ministry said it already "has reservations on dealing with the Turkish leadership, which is adamant on adopting blundering regional polices."
Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Erdogan's AKP government. Erdogan has repeatedly slammed Morsi's removal as a "coup."
The foreign ministry stressed in a statement that its leadership was selected in a "free, democratic poll," adding that the "starting point of establishing a normal relationship between countries is respecting the will of the people."
Erdogan's comments came amid speculations that a rapprochement may be on the table after last week saw Turkey mend fences with Russia and Israel following long-running diplomatic spats, aiming to bolster trade and shore up its regional power.
Cairo has repeatedly accused Ankrara of "interference" in its domestic affairs and supporting Islamist militants who carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt.
Turkey provides a safe haven for leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which has been banned in Egypt. Ankara also allows TV stations run by sympathisers of the Brotherhood who criticise the government of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to broadcast out of its own territories.