Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Mus said Ankara will improve economic relations with Egypt amid efforts to normalise diplomatic ties between the two countries, local media reported yesterday.
"Parallel to the development of diplomatic relations with Egypt, we want to strengthen our trade and economic ties in the coming period," Mus said during an event to announce monthly trade figures in Ankara.
Despite the political frictions, Turkey's Daily Sabah newspaper reported, Ankara says Cairo remains its biggest African trade partner, with the value of trade standing at $4.86 billion last year, only marginally lower than 2012 figures, the year before then Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi carried out a coup and became president.
Mus' comments come as Ankara prepares to send a delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal to Cairo this week to discuss normalising relations between the two countries, the Daily Sabah reported.
Ties between the two countries have been strained since 2013 when Egypt's army led by Al-Sisi toppled the country's first democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi. Morsi died in detention two years ago, in what observers believe was a result of medical neglect.