Egypt and Turkey took another step towards mending relations on Saturday when Ankara’s top diplomat visited Cairo for the first time since ties were ruptured a decade ago and held talks with his Egyptian counterpart.
Relations were severely strained in 2013 after Egypt’s then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi, an ally of Ankara, but have gradually thawed since 2021.
At a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said talks with Turkey on the possibility of restoring ties to ambassadorial level would happen at “the appropriate time”.
He said the talks had been “honest, deep and transparent”.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would upgrade its diplomatic relations with Egypt to ambassador level “as soon as possible”.
“I’m very glad that we are taking concrete steps for normalising relations with Egypt… We will do our best not to rupture our ties again in future,” Cavusoglu said.
Last month, Shoukry visited Turkey in a show of solidarity after the massive earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria – the first visit to Turkey by Egypt’s top diplomat since relations soured.
“There is a political will and directives from the presidents of both countries when they met in Doha … to launch the path towards a full normalisation of relations,” Shoukry said.
He was referring to a brief meeting between Sisi and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Qatar World Cup where they shook hands.