Erdogan says Turkey, Egypt ministers to meet for building ties
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that ministers of Turkey and Egypt will meet to start a process of building relations between the two countries and that the talks would develop from there.
After years of tension between the two countries, a picture of a handshake between Erdogan and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Qatar last week marked a new start in bilateral relations between them.
In a televised discussion programme recorded in Turkey's Konya province on Saturday, Erdogan said that it was not just a handshake but rather a brief meeting.
“Recently, we experienced a problem in a 9-year period. We took this step that evening, especially with the intervention of Qatar’s emir. After overcoming that difficulty, we had a narrow-scoped meeting with El-Sisi for half an hour or 45 minutes,” Erdogan said.
"Now let's have ministers coming and going at a low level. After that, let's broaden and widen these talks," Turkish President said, also signaling the possibility of improving ties with rival Syria.
"Just as this business is now on track with Egypt, things may also get on track with Syria," he said.
Ankara's ties with Cairo have been strained since Sisi, then Egypt's army chief, led the 2013 ouster of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was strongly supported by Erdogan.
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.