Better ties with Egypt would be pleasing, Turkish deputies say

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

Several Turkish politicians have spoken in favor of better ties with Egypt after Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that Cairo hopes to return to normal ties with Ankara.

Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Ali Ercoşkun and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chairman in charge of foreign affairs Öztürk Yılmaz have both spoken highly of Shoukry's statement.

Stressing that they are trying to forge strong ties with Egyptian lawmakers, Ercoşkun said that the Turkish delegation was received very well. The AK Party deputy said that they found Shoukry's statement to be a positive step, adding that the party hopes for further moves in the future. He said that further developments can be expected in the near future as well.

Yılmaz said that the CHP would be glad if the two countries improved relations. "We would be very pleased that relations are repaired," Yılmaz said. Saying that Egypt is one of the key countries in North Africa, he argued that Turkey can carry out an effective role across the continent if it had better ties with Egypt.

Shoukry said last week that his country hopes to resume normal relations with Turkey. In an interview published by the state-run Akhbar Al-Youm, Shoukry said Cairo had a permanent desire to overcome tensions with Ankara.

"There is no doubt that there are a lot of bonds between the Egyptian and Turkish people," he said. "We hope relations will return and we are always open to this."

Egyptian-Turkish relations have been strained ever since the Egyptian military ousted Mohammed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, in 2013. Turkey has been very critical of the incident, describing his overthrow as a coup.

"The situation with Turkey remains the same and we reiterate our desire to overcome any tension based on the principle of non-interference in Egypt's internal affairs," he said. Last year, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said there was no feud between the Egyptian and Turkish people.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has also said that Turkey looks forward to repairing its relations with Egypt.

Despite their strained political ties, economic relations between Egypt and Turkey have been improving. In November, Turkey declared a national day of mourning for the victims of a militant attack on a mosque in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula that killed more than 300 people

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