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Top Turkiye diplomat to visit Egypt after a decade of tension

March 18, 2023 at 9:08 am

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) meets with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry (R) in Cairo, Egypt. [Mohamed El-Shahed – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s Foreign Minister will travel to Cairo on Saturday, in a further sign of thawing relations a decade after diplomatic links were cut by the overthrow of Egypt’s then-President and Ankara’s ally, Mohamed Mursi, Reuters reports.

The visit by Mevlut Cavusoglu will be the first time Turkiye has sent its top diplomat there since Egypt’s Army chief, now President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, led the ousting of Mursi in July 2013.

It comes two weeks after Cavusoglu’s Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shourky, visited Turkiye to show solidarity after the massive earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkiye and Syria.”All aspects of our bilateral relations will be discussed, and views will be exchanged on regional and international issues,” Turkiye’s Foreign Ministry said.

READ: Meeting of Turkiye, Syria, Iran, Russia officials postponed, Turkiye says

The visit “inaugurates a path for restoring normal relationships between the two countries,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a simultaneous statement.

The visit would launch a “deep dialogue” aiming to reach “a mutual understanding that achieves both countries’ interests,” the Egyptian Ministry’s spokesperson added.

Mursi, a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood who died in 2019, was supported by Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party.

There have been signs of a growing rapprochement between Turkiye and Egypt in recent months.

Sisi and Erdogan shook hands during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In the wake of the deadly earthquakes last month, Sisi and Erdogan spoke on the phone, and Egypt’s Shoukry visited Turkiye on 27 February, marking another first in a decade.

After visiting earthquake-hit areas, Turkiye’s Cavusoglu said he could visit Egypt soon, and that Erdogan and Sisi could meet “either in Turkiye or Egypt” after that.

In another sign of normalisation, Cavusoglu said in November that Turkiye could re-appoint its Ambassador to Cairo “in coming months”.

READ: Egypt FM visits Syria, Turkiye for first time in decade