Turkey has resumed diplomatic contacts with Egypt and wants to further cooperation, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday (March 12), after years of tension since the Egyptian army toppled a Muslim Brotherhood president close to Ankara.
Any thaw in ties between the two regional powerhouses could have repercussions around the Middle East, where Cairo and Ankara have sought to influence events in various hotspots and stand on opposing sides in a Mediterranean maritime dispute.
Two Egyptian intelligence sources said Turkey had proposed a meeting to discuss cooperation, but suggested the contacts were still only preliminary.
President Tayyip Erdogan said the contacts were “not at the highest level, but right below the highest level. We hope that we can continue this process with Egypt much more strongly.”
Relations with Cairo have been frosty since Egypt’s army ousted Mohammed Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president and an ally of Erdogan, after protests in 2013.
Rebuilding trust will be hard. As well as the tensions over the ousting of Mursi and Mediterranean disputes, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said last week the Arab League expressed its “categorical rejection” of Turkish military interventions in Syria, Iraq and Libya.