Turkish and Egyptian presidents to meet, says Turkey FM from Cairo
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will meet to mark the end of a decade of estrangement between the two countries, Ankara's top diplomat said Saturday from Cairo.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking alongside his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in a joint news conference, said Ankara wanted "to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries at the highest level".
Cavusoglu said the meeting between Erdogan and Sisi would take place "after the Turkish elections," including the presidential vote slated for May 14.
His trip to Egypt was the first such visit after a decade of ruptured ties between the two countries.
Shoukry said his talks with his Turkish counterpart had been "honest, deep and transparent".
"We will come to talks (on restoring ambassadors) at the appropriate time, depending on the positive results it brings," he added during the joint news conference.
The Egyptian minister visited Turkey last month in a show of solidarity after the devastating earthquake that claimed tens of thousands of lives in Turkey and neighbouring Syria.
The ministers are said to have discussed a range of bilateral and international issues in a step towards restoring normal relations, according to statements from the two sides.
Opened a new chapter w/ #Egypt, a country w/ which we have historical ties. We will:— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) March 18, 2023
- Elevate diplomatic relations to the highest level,
- Further develop cooperation in economy, trade, tourism & energy,
- Increase consultations and cooperation on regional matters.🇹🇷🇪🇬 pic.twitter.com/xmFqIG9o3E
Ties between Turkey and Egypt were severely strained after Egypt's then-army chief Sisi led the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, an ally of Ankara, in 2013. Sisi was elected president the following year, and Morsi died in prison in Egypt in 2019.
The two countries have also been at odds in recent years over Libya, where they backed opposing factions in an unresolved conflict, and also over maritime borders in the gas-rich Eastern Mediterranean.
Consultations between senior foreign ministry officials in Ankara and Cairo began in 2021, amid a push by Turkey to ease tensions with Egypt, the UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
As part of that tentative reconciliation, Ankara asked Egyptian opposition TV channels operating in Turkey to moderate their criticism of Egypt.
Last month, Egypt's government, which has been struggling to manage an acute shortage of foreign currency, said Turkish companies had committed to $500 million in new investments in Egypt.