File Photo: Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildrim (Photo: Reuters)
Turkey is looking to improve relations with Egypt, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Monday, only hours after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi spoke about Turkey in a press interview.
In a press conference following a Council of Ministers meeting, Yildrim said that his country was “on the side of improving relations with Egypt.”
"Egypt is a country whose culture, values are close to us, our people are brothers," said Yildirim, adding that the conflicts between governments should not be reflected on the people.
In an extensive interview on domestic and foreign issues published in the Egyptian press on Monday, El-Sisi commented on troubled relationships between the two countries for the first time.
El-Sisi said that Egypt was giving “the Turks" time to correct their position.
“There is no enmity between the Egyptian people and Turkish people,” said El-Sisi, adding that the Egyptian government would not respond to statements of Turkish officials except in a way that represents “Egypt’s civilisation, culture and values.”
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.
Cairo has repeatedly accused Ankara of "interference" in its domestic affairs and providing a safe haven for leading members of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood group, while Erdogan's government has been an outspoken critic of Morsi's ouster and of El-Sisi.