Egypt has refused a proposal allowing Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to meet with ousted President Mohammed Morsi in return for building ties with Egypt's interim government.
Diplomatic sources told Zaman newspaper that Ankara was ready to meet with the military-backed government in Cairo following a meeting with Morsi. However the newspaper reported that while Egypt welcomed Davutoglu's visit, it refused to allow him to meet with Morsi.
According to the newspaper's sources, Turkey's ambassador to Egypt Huseyin Avni Botsalı proposed the offer to the Egyptian authorities making it look like his own idea to test the waters, however the Egyptians told Botsalı that, "We would be glad to have Davutoglu visit. [Egypt] is your second home. However, it is impossible to [arrange] a meeting with Morsi."
Botsalı returned to Cairo in September after Ankara recalled him in response to the Egyptian security forces' attack against pro-Morsi supporters on 14 August, which left hundreds of civilians dead. In return, Egypt pulled its ambassador from Ankara.
Turkey has been critical of the military coup that ousted President Morsi. However, according to the newspaper, the Turkish offer could represent "an attempt to rebuild relations with Cairo, particularly since Turkey has recently reduced its criticism against Egypt.
If Egypt had agreed to the Turkish proposal, Davutoglu would have met with Egypt's acting President Adly Mansour and interim Prime Minister Hazim Albulbulawi, but not with Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Diplomatic sources explained that Egypt refused the Turkish offer because it would give Morsi more legitimacy.
Meanwhile UN High Representative Catherine Ashton has been the only Western official to meet with Morsi since he was ousted in the July coup.