Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday that the statements of some Turkish officials about Egypt are "surprising and contradictory.”
He made the remarks during a joint press conference with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in Cairo, where the pair had held a meeting.
"The repeated Turkish statements that deal, from a Turkish perspective, with what Egypt should do are surprising and contradictory," Shoukry said.
He added that such statements "serve as a claim that there are those who know the interests of Egypt better than those responsible for protecting its interests."
The minister said that Egypt is known for its commitment to international legal norms and the charter of the United Nations, and hence it signs agreements from a sound international perspective.
"Egypt is aware of its interests and is able to defend them, and everyone should pay attention to their own self and to the interest of their country," Shoukry said.
He also referred indirectly to the Turkish military presence in some Arab countries, saying, "what is the legitimacy on which some unjustly build their military presence in Arab countries?"
Relations between Egypt and Turkey have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Mohamed Morsi, who was a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
Egypt has repeatedly condemned Ankara's support for the terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood.
Tensions have escalated in recent months over Ankara's military intervention in war-torn Libya, its violation of Iraq's sovereignty, and its search for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, in violation of the territorial waters of Greece and Cyprus, two close allies of Cairo.
Addressing a virtual meeting of Arab foreign ministers organised by the Arab League earlier this month, Shoukry stressed the necessity of adopting a "unified and firm Arab policy" against Turkey’s "destructive practices" in Libya, Syria and Iraq.
Conflict further heightened after Egypt and Greece signed a maritime demarcation deal in August establishing an exclusive economic zone between the two countries, sparking an angry response from Turkey.