Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara and Cairo have restarted diplomatic-level contacts, as he voiced his country’s readiness to mend ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“We have contacts at both the level of intelligence and foreign ministries with Egypt. Diplomatic-level contacts have started,” Cavusoglu told Anadolu Agency and TRT in a joint interview late Thursday.
Noting that neither side put forth preconditions, Cavusoglu said since ties were derailed back in 2013, they cannot be mended quickly or easily.
He said a lack of trust is also normal in such situations and may exist for both parties.
“For this reason, negotiations take place and continue under a certain strategy, a roadmap,” Cavusoglu said.
He said that there used to be occasional talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry when they met at international meetings, including when they met in New York two years ago.
Since the ties were disrupted in 2013, there are no preconditions, but contacts are being held step by step, he added.
Touching on new processes between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, Cavusoglu said such process would benefit relations with Turkey as well.
“Recently, we see positive messages from Abu Dhabi. We see that the negative campaigns against Turkey have decreased,” he said, adding that Ankara already did not have any problems with the UAE but it had a negative approach towards Turkey.
Saying that Ankara also has no bilateral problems with Riyadh, Cavusoglu said that after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in fall 2018, Saudi Arabia made the case into a bilateral problem.
“Actually this was not a bilateral issue. It was a search for justice for the deceased and we said, ‘Let the perpetrators of the murder face justice and let justice be served’,” he explained.
“We have never accused the Saudi administration,” he said.
Citing his “fruitful” meeting last November with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan in Niger, Cavusoglu said: “We agreed to continue dialogue.”
“For us, there’s no reason for not mending our ties with Saudi Arabia. If they take a positive step, we will do so as well. The same goes for the UAE,” he stressed.
Source: Anadolu news agency