Erdogan and Sisi confirm new beginning in relations, following nine years of deep rift
In the aftermath of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s handshake in Qatar on Sunday, whom for years Erdogan blamed his counterpart of being a dictator and ousting any talks with him, the two countries signaled readiness to mend ties.
On his flight back from Qatar on Monday, Erdogan told reporters that the handshake was a step towards reconciliation in relations with Egypt.
“We previously said that a process could begin. A step has been taken here to start such a process. We had talks [with al-Sisi]”, Erdogan said.
The Egyptian Presidency on Monday also announced that it was agreed between the two leaders that this would be the beginning of the development of bilateral relations.
Attending a reception hosted by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Qatari capital Doha on the sidelines of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Sunday, Erdogan shook hands with al-Sisi, marking a first meeting since 2013 which the Egyptian president took power by a military coup.
The relations between Ankara and Cairo have broke down after Sisi ousted Egypt’s former president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and launched a crackdown on the group that Erdogan backs politically. Erdogan who had forged close relations with Morsi, frequently denounced Sisi as a “dictator”, a “putschist” and a “murderer”. Turkey under Erdogan became a safe haven for the exiled members of the brotherhood that Cairo designated as a terrorist organization.
“The unity of the Turkish nation and the Egyptian people in the past is very important to us. Why not again, why not to start again? We signaled it and hopefully, unless nothing extraordinary happens, we will take this step further,” Erdogan said.
The two presidents “confirmed the depth of historical ties linking the two countries and the Egyptian and Turkish peoples” in Doha, Egypt’s Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi said in a post on his official Facebook page on Monday.