El Sisi + Erdogan voice optimism about turning a new page
A new era for Egypt-Turkey ties? Both President El Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have spoken of the need to improve ties following Monday’s surprise meeting between the regional foes in Qatar. Ankara released photos of the two leaders shaking hands on the sidelines of the World Cup opening ceremony in Doha in their first face-to-face meeting since El Sisi came to power in 2013.
- From Cairo: Ittihadiya said in a statement yesterday that the two leaders “confirmed the depth of historical ties between the two countries” and agreed that the meeting would serve as a starting point for improving relations.
- From Ankara: “We said that a process can begin. A step has been taken here to start such a process, and we have had discussions. I hope we can move the process, which started with our ministers, to a good point later, hopefully to the high-level meetings,” Turkish media reported Erdogan as saying following the meeting.
Ending a decade of hostility: Egypt and Turkey have been at each other’s throats over Turkey’s meddling in Egyptian politics, particularly after cutting ties in the aftermath of the 2013 revolution, which overthrew the Islamist regime that Ankara backed. Officials tentatively began discussions about dialing back tensions, which have risen further in recent years due to rivalry in Libya. The two sides have not been able to come to a compromise over Turkey’s role in Libya or its support for the Ikhwan, which led to the talks being suspended after only two rounds.