Cairo would cooperate with Ankara 'if Turkey ends interference'

Cairo would cooperate with Ankara 'if Turkey ends interference'
Egypt's parliament speaker has said that Cairo was willing to mend ties with Turkey provided it does not interfere in its internal affairs.
2 min read
15 July, 2016
Yildirim hinted at Ankara's intention to improve relations with Syria and Egypt [AFP]

Cairo is ready to cooperate with Turkey provided it does not interfere in its domestic affairs, Egypt's parliament speaker said during an official visit to Russia, alluding to Ankara's support for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood as Egypt claims.

"My judgment on a matter is taken in balance with the opinion of the Egyptian people. We do not and we would not allow other states to interfere in our internal affairs," Ali Abdel Al told Sputnik on Thursday.

"If a country respects this principle, we are ready to cooperate with any state, including Turkey," he said in response to a question regarding Egypt's reaction to Turkey seeking to improve relations with several of its neighbours, including Israel and Russia.

Turkey has recently resumed diplomatic ties with Israel, six years after mutual estrangement that followed the 2010 Freedom Flotilla incident, when a convoy of six ships tried to approach the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid.

In late June, Turkey also began to normalise relations with Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a letter addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin apologised over the downing of the Russian aircraft in November 2015 and extended condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

Earlier this week, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that Turkey saw no reason for confrontation with neighbouring countries, such as Syria, Iraq and Egypt, and hinted at Ankara's intention to improve its relations with these states.

"We will keep on increasing our friendships by observing the interests of our region and our country," Yildirim told members of his ruling Justice and Development Party this week.

Relations between Egypt and Turkey deteriorated following the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup led by current president Sisi, the legitimacy of which Ankara refused to recognise.

On June 28, Egypt's foreign ministry said that Cairo was ready to mend ties with Turkey if Ankara recognised the legitimacy of Morsi's ousting.

Last week, the ministry said it already had "reservations on dealing with Turkish leadership, which is adamant on adopting blundering regional polices" following the Turkish president's criticism of Egyptian leadership.