Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Turkey’s Erdogan, Egypt’s Sisi meet in person, 1st in decade

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held face-to-face talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in India's capital New Delhi on Sunday, following a decade-long rift between Ankara and Cairo.

Images broadcast live by Turkish television channels showed the two leaders held talks, accompanied by several members of their delegations. Erdogan and Sisi have discussed bilateral ties and energy cooperation between Turkey and Egypt, as well as regional and global issues.

“The meeting addressed bilateral relations between Turkey-Egypt, efforts to increase trade volume, new cooperation in the field of energy and regional and global issues,” Ankara’s directorate of communications also said in a statement.

It added: “Pointing out that relations have entered a new era with the mutual appointments of ambassadors, President Erdogan expressed his belief that bilateral relations will reach the level they deserve as soon as possible.”

In July, after a decade of strained relations, Egypt and Turkey took significant steps toward improving their diplomatic ties by mutually assigning ambassadors to their respective capitals.

Also, the directorate stated: “Emphasizing that the Egyptian administration’s support to Turkish investors and companies is essential, President Erdogan stressed that they attach importance to reviving cooperation in the fields of LNG, nuclear energy, culture and education.”

Ties between Egypt and Turkey have been strained since Egypt’s army, led by Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Mursi, a close ally of Erdogan, in 2013.

Cairo designates the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organization. Erdogan’s AK Party supported Mursi’s short-lived Egyptian government. Many Brotherhood members and their supporters have fled to Turkey since the group’s activities were banned in Egypt.

The two countries also clashed over maritime jurisdiction and offshore resources, as well as differences in Libya, where they backed opposing sides in the civil war.

After trading insults and accusations for years, Ankara and Cairo started softening their public rhetoric towards one another in 2021.

Erdogan and Sisi agreed on the immediate start of upgrading diplomatic relations and to exchange ambassadors in May.

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