The head of Turkish diplomacy in Egypt after ten years of estrangement

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Mersin, Turkey, February 27, 2023. EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY / REUTERS

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will be in Egypt on Saturday to open a new stage in the rapprochement between the two countries after a decade of estrangement, Egyptian diplomacy announced on Friday. After receiving his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Choukri at the end of February in Turkey after the earthquake which affected nearly a sixth of the Turkish population, Mr. Cavusoglu will visit him on Saturday in Cairo, announced the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

This visit will be, assures the ministry,the kick-off for the return to normal of relations between the two countries“, brutally broken since the coming to power of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in 2013. The dismissal by Mr. Sisi of the first democratically elected president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi, from the Muslim Brotherhood and great ally of Turkey, made then repeat to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he would not speak “Never” To “someone likeMr. Sisi.

Gradual normalization of relations

In the aftermath of the February 6 earthquake that killed nearly 48,500 people in Turkey, the two men had however spoken by telephone after exchanging their very first handshake in November at the World Cup in Qatar, another country with which Egypt recently revived after accusing him of closeness to the Muslim Brotherhood. In May 2021, a Turkish delegation had already visited Egypt to discuss “standardization“.

On the commercial level, however, exchanges have not ceased: they have increased from 4.4 billion dollars in 2007 to 11.1 billion dollars in 2020, notes the Carnegie research center. In 2022, Ankara was even the first importer of Egyptian products worth four billion dollars. But disagreements remain between the two capitals, Istanbul having becomethe capitalArab media critical of their governments, especially those close to the Muslim Brotherhood, considered “terroristsby Cairo. And the interests of Cairo and Ankara also diverge in Libya where Turkey has sent military advisers and drones against Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a strongman from the East, supported in particular by Egypt.

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