Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci said Ankara wants to improve commercial and economic relations with Egypt, with lifting sanctions being the first step.
Tüfenkci said Ankara wants to improve relations with neighboring and regional countries in accordance with the interests of the countries within the framework of good relations, international agreements and deals. Prefacing that they want to take their steps toward mutually improving the relations without the intervention of the third countries, Tüfenkci said Ankara does not want to leave any troubled areas with neighbors.
Stressing that the Turkish government wants to increase the number of friends and decrease the number of its enemies, Tüfenkci said the government wants to improve commercial and economic relations with Egypt by taking the necessary steps in accordance with the gains and interests of the people of the two countries, first by lifting the embargoes and obstacles put in the way. Tüfenkci pointed to the sanctions implemented by Egypt, especially in the transportation sector, stressing the importance of lifting sanctions in the first stage in terms of improving commercial relations with Egypt.
Turkish-Egyptian relations deteriorated after Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted in July 2013, as well as the human rights violations that ensued. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has long supported Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood and has continued his support since it faced a brutal crackdown, at the cost of souring relations with Egypt.
The coup regime of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has cracked down on journalists, academics and supporters of democracy who have been detained and held in military facilities, many of whom have died while in police custody as a result of mistreatment.