Consultations between top foreign ministry officials in Ankara and Cairo started in 2021
Turkey will upgrade its diplomatic relations with Egypt to ambassadorial level “as soon as possible”, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said today during his visit to Cairo, the first by a top Turkish official in a decade when relations between the two soured countries.
“I am particularly glad that we are taking clear steps to normalize our relations with Egypt… We will do everything we can to not break our relations in the future,” the Turkish minister said in a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart of, Sameh Shukri.
As Cavusoglu said, Turkey will make efforts to further extend the Black Sea grain deal by allowing exports from Ukraine on the day the deal is set to expire.
“Russia agreed to an extension of the grain deal for only two months. We will try for a further extension after two months”, he emphasized.
For his part, his Egyptian counterpart described today’s talks with Cavusoglu as “honest, thorough and clear”, while he himself referred to the possibility that the two countries will bring back their ambassadors.
“We will get to the issue (of bringing back the ambassadors) at the appropriate time, depending on the positive results this will have,” Soukry noted.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt were hit when Egypt’s then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, an ally of Ankara, in 2013. Sisi was elected president the following year.
Last month, Shoukry visited Turkey in a show of solidarity after the devastating earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria.
The two countries have also been at odds in recent years over Libya, where they have supported rival factions in an unresolved conflict, as well as maritime borders in the gas-rich Eastern Mediterranean.
Consultations between top foreign ministry officials in Ankara and Cairo began in 2021 amid Turkey’s bid to ease tensions with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
As part of this effort, Ankara has asked opposition Egyptian television networks operating in Turkey to tone down their criticism of Egypt.
Morsi died in prison in Egypt in 2019. Other senior Muslim Brotherhood figures are imprisoned in Egypt or have fled abroad, and the organization remains outlawed.
Last month, Egypt’s government, which is struggling to manage a severe shortage of foreign currency, said Turkish companies had pledged $500 million in new investments in Egypt.
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