The foreign ministers of the two countries discussed in Cairo the normalization of relations
Cairo and Ankara are coordinating to hold an upcoming summit meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but without setting a decisive date for it.
And according to what Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced, during a joint conference in Cairo (Saturday) with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, “there is a will and political directives to launch a path to reach the full normalization of relations between the two countries.”
The two ministers announced that they had discussed “restoring relations at the ambassadorial level, and that coordination is under way to hold a summit between Sisi and Erdogan.”
The Egyptian minister said, “There is political will and directives by the presidents of the two countries when they met in Doha (during the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar) and an assignment to the two foreign ministers to launch the path to reach full normalization of relations after developments in the past years.”
Cavusoglu’s visit is the first of its kind by a Turkish foreign minister to Egypt in 11 years, and comes weeks after a visit by his Egyptian counterpart to Ankara, which he said was of a humanitarian nature to show solidarity and provide aid to the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck areas in Syria and Turkey last month.
Shoukry said that he held “transparent and frank” talks with the Turkish minister, which covered bilateral relations, regional situations and the challenges facing the two countries.
Shoukry added, “We look forward to opening channels of communication between government agencies and continuing our intensive work until we reach what we aspire to together in terms of restoring the important relationship between the two countries.”
The Egyptian minister said that the talks with his Turkish counterpart included the regional situation in Palestine, Libya and Iraq, the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and work to confront common challenges such as terrorism.
He also indicated that the discussions between the two sides touched on the Ukrainian-Russian crisis and its repercussions.
In turn, the Turkish minister said that steps are being taken to restore relations with Egypt to normal immediately. He added, “We are present now to strengthen relations and restore them to their normal course… From now on, positive steps will be taken to improve relations with Egypt.”
Cavusoglu said, “It was agreed to turn the page on tension with Egypt… We will do our best to fully restore relations and not go back.” The minister pointed out that “Turkey and Egypt are playing a leading role in regional issues.”
He added that he discussed with his Egyptian counterpart the development of cooperation in the energy sector and the opening of diplomatic tracks between the two countries to return it to what it was in the past.
The issue of gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean region represented a major point of contention between Cairo and Ankara during the past years, and the two countries exchanged declarations of rejecting the other party’s move, especially with regard to Egypt’s cooperation mechanism with Greece and Cyprus.
Cavusoglu said that he also discussed with Shukri the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, pointing out that a war between Russia and Ukraine could lead to a nuclear crisis.
He added, “Egypt has a great role in many issues, especially the Palestinian issue. We seek that there will be no unrest in Al-Aqsa in Palestine with the approaching month of Ramadan.”
While the Turkish minister urged his country’s investors to work in Egypt and enhance trade exchange, the Egyptian minister said, “Trade exchange with Turkey amounted to nine billion dollars.”