Turkey reaches out to mend ties with Egyptian regime

Turkey reaches out to mend ties with Egyptian regime
Turkey wants to patch up its differences with Egypt's regime, Ankara's prime minister said on Saturday, after years of tension caused by 2013 military coup against the Muslim Brotherhood government.
2 min read
20 August, 2016
Erdogan shows his support for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood by flashing the 'Rabaa' symbol [Getty]
Turkey wants to repair its ties with Egypt, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.

Relations between the two countries soured following the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi - a close ally to the Turkish government - in 2013, leading to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to take over as leader.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly condemned the ouster as a "coup d'etat" against Morsi.

He has also shown solidarity at rallies by flashing the four-finger "Rabaa" hand salute - seen as a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"We think we need to develop economic and cultural ties with Egypt as countries that use the two sides of the Mediterranean," Yildirim told reporters at a briefing in Istanbul.

However, he sounded a note of caution that high-level relations would not be repaired overnight.

"We think we need to start from somewhere," he said.

It is not the first time Yildirim has expressed hope for improved relations with Egypt.

In June, he said he did not want to see "permanent enmity" with countries such as Egypt and Syria.

Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia - one of the main backers of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - is keen to see the two countries reconcile as it grows increasingly close to Turkey.

After the 15 July failed putsch in Turkey by a rogue military faction aiming to oust Erdogan from power, Egypt's presidency remained mute.

However, the foreign ministry released a statement on consular efforts to help Egyptians in Turkey.

Turkey appears to be taking steps to return to its former "zero problems with neighbours" foreign policy after rapprochements with Russia and Israel in June this year.