Türkiye and Egypt will raise diplomatic relations to highest level “as soon as possible,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.
Speaking in Cairo, where he was visiting upon the invitation of his counterpart Sameh Shoukry, Cavusoglu said: “Shoukry told (you) that we are discussing what we can do about the reappointment of ambassadors. We had the opportunity to evaluate which steps we would take and when.”
“I am sure that we will have the opportunity to raise diplomatic ties to highest level as soon as possible,” Cavusoglu said at the news conference alongside Shoukry, following talks on bilateral relations, along with regional and international issues.
Diplomatic relations between Türkiye and Egypt are maintained at the level of charges d’affaires on both sides since Egypt’s 2013 military coup which overthrew late President Mohammed Morsi.
Cavusoglu is the first foreign minister to visit Egypt from Türkiye after 11 years.
The minister said he had “frank” talks with Shoukry, stressing that mechanisms between Türkiye and Cairo will be revived.
Cavusoglu said that during his meetings with his Egyptian counterpart, the parties showed a willingness to strengthen relations in areas including energy, trade, transportation, and diplomacy.
“We want to improve our cooperation in the energy field, we want to take concrete steps … There were some disruptions in transportation issues. We want to revive them. We want to maximize our diplomatic relations,” he said.
Ankara and Cairo need to work “more closely” for the region, Cavusoglu said, adding: “We will develop our cooperation on regional issues as well.”
“While we are developing our bilateral relations with Egypt, we do not only talk about what can be done for the benefit of both countries. Normalization of our relations is important beyond that.
“We all know the importance of developing bilateral relations for the stability of the region, for its economic development, for the role to be played in the solution of existing problems. Our region needs peace. We need to work together for the peace and survival of our region,” he said.
Türkiye and Egypt will have differences of opinion in the future, Cavusoglu said, adding: “It’s natural. It also happens between brothers, but whatever happens, we will do our part as both sides to not break these ties again.”
Cavusoglu said they also discussed international issues as well, particularly Palestine, terrorism, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
“We are in an intense effort with the UN, especially on the extension of the grain agreement. Russia said it could be extended for a period of two months. In fact, today is the last day of the previous agreement, and we will continue working for this (deal) to continue after two months,” he added.
Presidents might meet after elections in Türkiye
He also underlined that Ankara would never forget the support given by Cairo after last month’s powerful earthquakes.
“I especially would like to thank the Egyptian government and people once again for the support they gave us after the earthquake in Türkiye,” he added.
On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces — Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa — in southern Türkiye, claiming the lives of nearly 50,000 people.
Condolences have poured in from around the world expressing solidarity with Türkiye, with many countries sending rescue teams and aid, including Egypt.
After the quakes, Shoukry visited quake-hit Adana and Mersin provinces, and his visit to Türkiye was the first by an Egyptian foreign minister in more than a decade.
Meanwhile, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was among the leaders who made a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the earthquakes, offering his condolences for the quake victims.
For a possible future meeting between the presidents, Cavusoglu said he and Shoukry were making preparations, adding that Erdogan and al-Sisi might meet after Türkiye’s upcoming elections, scheduled for May 14.
“Maybe soon after the elections, hopefully President Erdogan and al-Sisi will come together. They decide the timing for it, but it’s up to us to make the preparations. We need to act quickly and work closely in all areas, not only in appointing ambassadors, but also in closing the nine-year gap,” Cavusoglu said.
Development of ties in interest of Türkiye, Egypt
For his part, Shoukry said the development of Turkish-Egyptian relations is in the interest of both countries.
“We have solid ground and we are confident that we will re-establish strong relations with Türkiye,” he said.
Emphasizing that Egypt shared a common vision with Türkiye on many regional and international issues, Shoukry said they discussed the resumption of ties and appointment of ambassadors.
He said the ministers wished to keep communication channels between the two countries open and continue coordination.
Turning to economic ties, Shoukry said: “There were Turkish investments in various fields in Egypt. In the past years, the trade volume between the two countries has increased to $9 billion. This is an important figure for both countries. In fact, Türkiye’s investments in Egypt has reached $2.5 billion.”
The minister noted that both sides presented their in-depth views on what needed to be done to restabilize the region and strengthen it against challenges.
Shoukry added that they also discussed normalization between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Palestine, and the reflections of the Syria, Libya, and Ukraine-Russia war.
Source: Anadolu Agency