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Turkey, Egypt restart diplomatic talks

March 13, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Turkey on February 15, 2021 [Fatih Aktaş/Anadolu Agency]

After years of disrupted ties, Turkey and Egypt have restarted diplomatic-level talks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu Agency and TRT on Thursday.

“We have contacts at both the level of intelligence and foreign ministries with Egypt. Diplomatic-level contacts have started,” Cavusoglu shared in a joint interview.

Noting that neither side put forth preconditions, Cavusoglu asserted since ties were derailed back in 2013, they cannot be mended quickly or easily.

He stated that a lack of trust is also normal in such situations and may exist for both parties. “For this reason, negotiations take place and continue under a certain strategy, a roadmap,” Cavusoglu explained.

He shared that there used to be occasional talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry when they met at international meetings, including when they met in New York two years ago.

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Since ties were disrupted in 2013, there are no preconditions, but talks are being held step by step.

Meanwhile, he revealed a positive issue regarding the relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia and said that his country does not have any problems with the Gulf states.

“Recently, we see positive messages from Abu Dhabi. We see that the negative campaigns against Turkey have decreased,” he said, adding that Ankara already did not have any problems with the UAE, but it had a negative approach towards Turkey.

Explaining that Ankara also has no bilateral problems with Riyadh, Cavusoglu confirmed that after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in fall 2018, Saudi Arabia made the case into a bilateral problem.

“Actually, this was not a bilateral issue. It was a search for justice for the deceased and we said, ‘Let the perpetrators of the murder face justice and let justice be served,’” he explained. “We have never accused the Saudi administration.”Citing his “fruitful” meeting last November with his Saudi counterpart Faisal Bin Farhan in Niger, Cavusoglu said: “We agreed to continue the dialogue.”

“For us, there’s no reason for not mending our ties with Saudi Arabia. If they take a positive step, we will do so as well. The same goes for the UAE,” he stressed.