Al-Sisi: No Reason For Hostile Relations with Turkey

During an interview with the editors-in-chief of the state-run Egyptian newspapers Al-Ahram, Al-Gomhuria, and Akhbar Al-Youm, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said that there is no reason to continue hostile relations between Turkey and Egypt.

Al-Sisi said “There is no need for two nations to continue unfriendly relations,” referring to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim’s comments about wanting to “improve relations with Egypt.”

Two days ago, Prime Minister Yildrim said that Turkey is willing to develop good relations with Egypt, during a meeting with representatives of foreign media institutions.

Yildrim stated first that Turkey still considers the ouster of the first democratically elected president of Egypt as a military coup, saying,”First of all, we recognize the overthrow of Morsi as a military coup.”

However, Turkey wants to develop economic and cultural relations with Egypt as a fellow Mediterranean country. “We remain positive regarding this issue,” reported Daily Sabah.

In the same context, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy and the head of the Turkish delegation for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Talip Küçükcan said that “Both countries play a vital role in the Middle East and positive relations between Turkey and Egypt are crucial not only for them but for the entire region. However, Turkey was not the side to cut relations; we support the same democratic principles in Egypt as we do in every other country, ” reported Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper.

Küçükcan went on to say that Turkey is the only country that insists on the “enforcement of democratic principles” compared to EU countries which immediately recognized the al-Sisi government and overlooked the post-coup suppression in Egypt.

He added, “I think both [Turkey and Egypt] favor the establishment of rational relations.”

The Turkish-Egyptian relations have deteriorated since the military coup in 2013 that was led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

According to Daily Sabah, experts believe that it is too early to expect the full recovery of relations as there have been many efforts consumed by different countries and figures.

Can Acun, a researcher of Middle Eastern politics at SETA Foundation, said, “There have been several re-conciliatory efforts mediated by Saudi Arabia and Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian Ennahda Party, prior to the July 15 coup attempt; however, those efforts failed as Egypt rejected Turkey’s demands to release its political prisoners and Turkey refused to recognize the July 3 events in Egypt as a ‘revolution’, not a ‘coup’.”

He also added that it is too early to be hopeful “regarding relations between the two countries, noting that both sides are willing to repair relations; as Egypt seeks to recover from the political, economic and security turmoil experienced in the country.”

At the same time,”Turkey considers a possible agreement to be beneficial for itself as a country, improving capabilities to reach countries in Africa and the Middle East with ease and turning back to the Egyptian market with constructive efforts devoid of clashes,” he concluded as cited by Daily Sabah.