Turkey, Egypt Could Re-Appoint Ambassadors Soon, Ending Years-Long Feud

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Turkey and Egypt may restore full diplomatic ties and re-appoint ambassadors mutually “in coming months,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday, potentially putting a formal end to nearly a decade of strained ties between the two regional powers.

Ankara and Cairo may re-start diplomatic consultations led by deputy foreign ministers as part of a normalization process “soon,” Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

After years of tension, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shook hands with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Qatar this month in what was described by the Egyptian presidency as a new start in bilateral relations, opening the door to a flurry of back-door diplomacy between intelligence officials.

ALM gathered that intelligence delegations from the two sides met in Egypt over the weekend.

Diplomatic ties have been strained since Sisi, then Egypt’s army chief led the 2013 ouster of Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was ardently supported by Erdogan. But Erdogan and Sisi shook hands on the sidelines of the World Cup in Qatar last week in what Cairo described as a new start in bilateral relations.

Separately, an Egyptian intelligence source said delegations in Cairo had discussed how to bring their points of view on common security issues closer. Those issues included Turkey-based media outlets associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and opposed to Egypt’s government, the source said.

Erdogan said on the weekend that he and Sisi spoke in Qatar for as much as 45 minutes, and that the process of building relations with Egypt will start with ministers of the two countries meeting and that the talks would develop from there.

The senior Turkish official said the countries “may enter into serious cooperation on regional issues, especially in Africa”.

They will begin addressing commercial, military and political issues “within a short time,” he added, pointing to Turkey’s maritime agreement with Libya, energy projects, hydrocarbon exploration work, and pipelines in the Mediterranean.

Ambassador appointments and contacts to bring Erdogan and Sisi together again will come “in the near future,” with Turkey’s approach mirroring its recent effort to rekindle ties with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, he added.

The two countries started consultations between senior foreign ministry officials last year amid a push by Turkey to ease tensions with Egypt, the UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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