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Egyptian and Turkey FMs meet in Cairo in effort to mend ties

Egypt and Turkey took another step towards mending relations when Ankara’s top diplomat Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, visited Cairo on Saturday and held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, for the first time since ties were ruptured a decade ago.

Relations were severely strained in 2013 after Egypt’s then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi, an ally of Ankara, to get overthrown, but have gradually thawed since 2021.

At a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, the Egyptian FM said talks with Turkey on the possibility of restoring ties to the ambassadorial level would happen at “the appropriate time”.

FM Sameh Shoukry receives Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry premise at Tahrir Palace…The two FMs are holding now a closed bilateral meeting @MevlutCavusoglu

— Egypt MFA Spokesperson (@MfaEgypt) March 18, 2023

He added that the talks had been “honest, deep, and transparent”.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey would upgrade its diplomatic relations with Egypt to ambassador level “as soon as possible”.

“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 the future,” Çavuşoğlu stressed.

Opened a new chapter w/ #Egypt, a country w/ which we have historical ties. We will:

– Elevate diplomatic relations to the highest level,

– Further develop cooperation in economy, trade, tourism & energy,

– Increase consultations and cooperation on regional matters.🇹🇷🇪🇬

— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) March 18, 2023

Burying the hatchet

Last month, Shoukry visited Turkey in a show of solidarity after the massive earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria – the first visit to Turkey by Egypt’s top diplomat since relations soured.

“There is a political will and directives from the presidents of both countries when they met in Doha … to launch the path towards a full normalization of relations,” Shoukry said.

He was referring to a brief meeting between the Egyptian and Turkish presidents at the Qatar World Cup where they shook hands.

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