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Egypt and Türkiye to restore diplomatic ties


The Turkish foreign minister attributed the decade-long rift to “the lack of dialogue and misunderstandings”

Egypt and Türkiye are planning to hold talks about restoring ambassador-level relations in what could mark a rapprochement after a decade of frayed ties between the two nations.

“I’m very glad that we are taking concrete steps for normalizing relations with Egypt… We will do our best not to rupture our ties again in future,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday during a visit to Cairo. His Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, added that the countries would have talks on restoring ambassadors “at the appropriate time.”

The Turkish minister blamed the longstanding rift on “misunderstandings and a lack of dialogue,” while acknowledging the impact it had on both countries.

“There is a huge level of untapped potential, but we have lost those nine years, and in order to close this nine-year gap, we have to work even harder,” Cavusoglu said, hinting at a possible official meeting between the two countries’ presidents, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

In addition to seeking to upgrade diplomatic relations, Cavusoglu expressed both sides’ commitment to advancing ties in the areas of energy, trade, and transportation.

“We want to improve our cooperation in the energy field, we want to take concrete steps … There were some disruptions in transportation issues. We want to revive them. We want to maximize our diplomatic relations,” Cavusoglu said, as reported by the Turkish media outlet Anadolu. 

Relations between the North African nation and Türkiye deteriorated after Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, a supporter of Ankara and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown in 2013 by el-Sisi, who was commander-in-chief of the Egyptian army at the time. The following year el-Sisi won the presidential election.

Senior foreign ministry officials from Ankara and Cairo began talking in 2021 as Türkiye sought to defuse tensions with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The two nations have recently been at odds over maritime borders in the gas-rich Eastern Mediterranean and also over Libya, where they have supported opposing forces in the unresolved conflict.

Egypt has been experiencing an economic downturn from which it has been attempting to extract itself through a variety of diplomatic means aimed at attracting foreign investment.

The Egyptian foreign minister stated that improving Turkish-Egyptian relations would be in both countries’ best interests.

“There were Turkish investments in various fields in Egypt. In the past years, the trade volume between the two countries has increased to $9 billion. This is an important figure for both countries. In fact, Türkiye’s investments in Egypt had reached $2.5 billion,” he stressed.

In February, a group of Turkish businessmen met with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the first such meeting in ten years.

The Turkish delegation stated its intention to increase investment in Egypt by an additional $500 million this year. The Egyptian prime minister guaranteed that investors would enjoy a secure business environment.

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