Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has claimed that diplomatic channels between Ankara and Cairo have reopened and that negotiations to re-establish normal relations are underway. The statement comes as Turkey faces isolation in the Arab world that strained for years over Islamist politics and regional conflicts. However, the relationship between Turkey and Egypt is complicated as both sides have taken opposite stances on various geo-political issues. Several local and Arab media outlets have reported Egyptian foreign ministry officials as saying that Cairo has no intention of re-starting diplomatic relations with Ankara and that reports of a resumption of talks are false. But Turkish foreign minister claims that high-level talks between the two countries have already started and negotiations to re-start diplomatic relations.
Cavusoglu, while talking to Turkish state news agency Anadolu, said that Turkey and Egypt have started talking on intelligence and foreign ministry level, adding “lack of trust is normal” and that neither side put forward preconditions. Cavusoglu has made President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s intentions clear that Turkey wants to re-establish normal ties with Egypt, which experts believe is to better its position in the Arab world.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt soured in 2013 after Erdogan criticised and condemned the military coup in Cairo that saw the ousting of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Erdogan was against the coup because Morsi was a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and the new Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was being backed by Saudi Arabia, a country Ankara doesn’t enjoy cordial relations with. The ties between Turkey and Egypt became worse in the following years as both countries withdrew their respective ambassadors and started taking opposite stances on issues impacting the region.