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Top Turkish diplomat to visit Egypt after a decade of tension

By:
Reuters
Updated: Mar 17, 2023, 12:20 GMT+00:00

CAIRO/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey'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.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Mersin

CAIRO/ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’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.

The visit by Mevlut Cavusoglu will be the first time Turkey 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 Turkey to show solidarity after the massive earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

“All aspects of our bilateral relations will be discussed, and views will be exchanged on regional and international issues,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said.

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 Turkey 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 Turkey on Feb. 27, marking another first in a decade.

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

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

(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah in Dubai and Huseyin Hayatsever in Ankara; Editing by Ece Toksabay and Andrew Heavens)

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