Cairo ‘keen to establish relations’ with Turkey, applauds Ankara’s signals after years of animosity

Egypt’s foreign minister has hailed the positive signals and dialog coming out of Ankara and reinforced his government’s wishes to establish good relations with Turkey following years of animosity after President Morsi’s removal.

“The recent Turkish statements and moves are appreciated [...] Egypt is keen to establish a dialogue for the interest of both countries and have relations based on the rules of international law, in particular not to harm interests,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Al Kahera Wal Nas TV late on Sunday. Shoukry said that better relations were in the best interest of both countries. 

On Saturday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called Shoukry and exchanged greetings ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts on Monday according to the Saudi calendar.

Several weeks ago, Cavusoglu said his country had reestablished diplomatic contact with Egypt for the first time since the 2013 Egyptian coup. Relations between the two states quickly deteriorated after Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is now president, ousted president Mohammed Morsi from office.  

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Turkey was heavily critical of the removal of the supposedly Ankara-backed Morsi, who was also affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The two countries expelled each other’s diplomats as relations tanked. 

Cairo and Ankara have also locked horns over a number of regional issues, including the civil war in Libya, where they backed opposing sides, and maritime disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean and its potentially lucrative gas reserves.

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