Egypt’s FM Spokesperson: Improving Relations with Turkey Conditional

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid stated that Cairo is uncomfortable over what he described as “Continuous Contradiction” in the Turkish statements and stances; as well as the “swing” between showing the will to develop economic and trade relations with Egypt and the continuous “state of non-recognition to June 30 legitimacy.”

Ahmed Abu Zeid ‘s statement came in response to the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s remarks on opening a new phase of relations between Turkey and Egypt.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in a televised interview with TRT Haber that there is no obstacle in the way of better commercial and economic ties with Egypt and Turkey is ready to enter a new phase.

“There is no obstacle in terms of commerce. Maybe there will be a ground in the future for normalization. Relations could even start at the ministerial level. We are ready for it,” Yildirim said, adding that Turkey has no reservations about it.

On the other hand, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry welcomed in an official statement released on Tuesday the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s remarks regarding the relations between Turkey and Egypt, but the statement has conditioned improving the relations on the recognition of June 30 and its repercussions.

The written statement reads, “We welcome all efforts on improving the relations between Egypt and Turkey. However, the starting point of smoothing the ties would be recognizing the official institutions which were established after June 2013.”

Despite signaling a will for better relations, Yildirim reiterated that Turkey’s stance on Egypt is loud and clear.

“There was a coup against democracy and then President Mohamed Morsi was taken from the administration,” Yildirim said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also stressed that Turkey does not accept it.

Yildirim asserted, “We are in the same region as Egypt. We cannot cut off all relations even if we wanted to. We have a geographical tie and proximity. Therefore we lay emphasis on how the regime was changed there and the unjust punishments against Morsi and his team.”

The Egyptian-Turkish relations deteriorated since the military coup in 2013 led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi against the first democratically elected president of Egypt. The coup regime has cracked down on political opposition, journalists and human rights activists who have been detained, tortured and killed by Egyptian security forces.