Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Cairo, Egypt, on March 18, 2023. (Photo by Mohamed Ali/Xinhua)
CAIRO, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian and Turkish leaders have the political will to normalize ties after years of strained relations, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday.
Shoukry made the remarks during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, who arrived in Cairo earlier in the day and is the highest-ranking Turkish official visiting Egypt in over a decade.
Shoukry said he discussed with Cavusoglu the steps to restore ties, and the return of each other's ambassadors will take place at an appropriate time.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R, center) and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L, center) attend a joint press conference in Cairo, Egypt, on March 18, 2023. (Photo by Mohamed Ali/Xinhua)
For his part, the Turkish foreign minister said the meeting that brought together Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Qatar last year, on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the World Cup, witnessed a pledge by the two leaders to work on developing bilateral relationships.
He said that relations between Egypt and Türkiye are historical, noting that his visit to Cairo aims to improve bilateral relations.
Cavusoglu said he is working with his Egyptian counterpart to arrange a bilateral meeting between the presidents of Egypt and Türkiye.
From now on, Cavusoglu said, positive steps will be taken to improve relations with Cairo, and Turkish companies will be asked to double investments in Egypt.
Türkiye's relations with Egypt turned sour after former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July 2013 and his Türkiye-backed Muslim Brotherhood group was outlawed, prompting the two countries to expel each other's ambassadors.
The two countries also sparred over a range of other issues, including the war in Libya, where they backed rival sides, as well as maritime disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The two countries stepped up efforts to normalize ties in 2021 when they held their first diplomatic talks in eight years. ■