Turkey wants to repair ties with Egypt

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 22, 2016
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Turkey wants to repair its ties with Egypt, after relations soured over the removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.

Relations between Ankara and Cairo took a nosedive after the Egyptian military deposed Morsi on July 30, 2013.

Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, had been a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party-led (AKP) government.

Erdogan repeatedly condemned the removal as a “coup d’etat” against Morsi, and in a show of solidarity at rallies he has often flashed the four-finger “Rabaa” hand salute – seen as a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“We think we need to develop economic and cultural ties with Egypt as countries that use the two sides of the Mediterranean,” Yildirim told reporters at a briefing in Istanbul.

However he sounded a note of caution that high-level relations would not be repaired overnight.

“We think we need to start from somewhere,” he said.

It is not the first time Yildirim has expressed hope for improved relations with Egypt.

In June, he said he did not want to see “permanent enmity” with countries such as Egypt and Syria.

Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia, one of the main backers of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is keen to see the two countries reconcile as it grows increasingly close to Turkey.

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