The first talks between the foreign ministers of Egypt and Türkiye in Cairo in ten years
The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made a visit to the Egyptian capital and met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
After Cut ties between the two countries for the last ten years, talks went on the possibility of restoring relations to the ambassadorial level, as it will take place at the appropriate time.
Çavuşoğlu said during a press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, that Türkiye will upgrade its relationship with Egypt to ambassadorial level as soon as possible.
He added, “I am very happy that we have taken concrete steps to normalize relations with Egypt… We’ll do our best so that relations between us will not be severed again in the future”.
Shoukry said, “We’ll come to the subject of returning ambassadors at the appropriate time, according to the positive results it brings.
Relations between Türkiye and Egypt were severely strained after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi led the overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi when he was army chief in July 2013, as al Sisi was elected president the following year.
The former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and an ally of Ankara, and died in prison in 2019.
Other prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood are in prison or have fled abroad, as the group remains banned.
Shoukry visited Türkiye last month to show solidarity with it after the devastating earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Türkiye and Syria.
The positions of Türkiye and Egypt have diverged in the past few years on Libya, as Cairo and Ankara supported warring factions in a conflict that still exists, as well as regarding the maritime borders in the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean region.
Consultations began between prominent officials in the Turkish and Egyptian foreign ministries in 2021, amid Turkish efforts to ease tensions with Egypt, the UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
As part of this initial reconciliation, Ankara asked Egyptian opposition television channels operating in Türkiye to reduce their criticism of Egypt.
The Egyptian government is grappling with an acute shortage of foreign exchange and last month reported that Turkish companies had pledged $500 million in new investments in Egypt.
For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced on Saturday from Cairo preparation for a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi, to end a decade of estrangement between the two countries.
“We want to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries at the highest level,” Çavuşoğlu said during a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.
“We may disagree in the future, but we will do everything we can to avoid severing relations again,” he added.
For his part, Shoukry affirmed the existence of a political will among the presidents of the two countries … aimed at normalizing relations between them.
Çavuşoğlu received Shoukry in February in Türkiye after the devastating earthquake that struck Türkiye on February 6, killing 48,500 in this country.
Relations between Egypt and Türkiye were strained after Abdel Fattah al Sisi came to power in 2013, following his overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, of whom Ankara was one of his most prominent supporters.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Morsi’s ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, had repeatedly declared at the time that he would never communicate with al Sisi.
But the two leaders spoke on the phone a day after the devastating earthquake in Türkiye.
They also shook hands in November at the World Cup in Qatar, another country with which Egypt recently reopened relations after being accused of being close to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Cavusoglu confirmed on Saturday that after the elections in Türkiye, including the presidential elections on May 14, “our president will meet with President Sisi”.
On the trade level, exchanges between the two countries didn’t stop, but rather increased from $4.4 billion in 2007 to $11.1 billion in 2020, according to the Carnegie Research Center.
Even in 2022, Ankara was the first importer of Egyptian products worth $4 billion.
However, differences still exist between the two countries, at a time when Istanbul has become the capital of Arab media that criticize their governments, especially those close to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo considers terrorist.
Likewise, interests separate Cairo and Ankara also in Libya, where Türkiye sent military advisers and drones to confront Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strong man in the Libyan east supported by Egypt.
For his part, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan welcomed, on Saturday, the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to Egypt.
Sullivan indicated in a statement via Twitter that the visit is the first in more than a decade, and represents an important step towards a more stable and prosperous region.
Çavuşoğlu’s visit is the first by a Turkish foreign minister to Egypt in 11 years.