How did Turkish-Egyptian relations get so dangerous, and why are they now transferring to revive their respective ambassadors?
Egyptian International Minister Sameh Shoukry has met his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, as the 2 international locations make progress in direction of re-establishing full diplomatic relations after almost a decade.
Thursday’s go to is Shoukry’s second journey to Turkey this yr, whereas Cavusoglu additionally visited Egypt in March.
Talking at a joint information convention, Cavusoglu mentioned that the 2 international locations have been “taking concrete steps to lift diplomatic relations to the very best stage”, indicating that the appointment of ambassadors could come quickly.
However Shoukry did name on Turkey to withdraw its forces from Syria, underscoring among the variations that also stay.
Relations between the 2 international locations had soured following the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in a coup in 2013.
Right here’s a timeline of relations between the 2 over the past 20 years:
2005: The 2 international locations signal a free commerce settlement, as financial ties between the 2 international locations strengthened.
2011: As anti-government protests ramp up in Egypt, Turkish chief Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to “hearken to the individuals”, days earlier than he’s overthrown within the Egyptian revolution in February. Erdogan travels to Egypt in September as a part of a tour of nations affected by the Arab Spring.
2012: Ties strengthen after a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, turns into Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Erdogan’s AK Social gathering and the Muslim Brotherhood are seen as having some ideological similarities, and Erdogan once more visits Egypt, this time signing a mortgage settlement with the North African nation that cements the constructive relations between the 2 states.
2013: Morsi’s overthrow in a navy coup results in a dramatic shift in relations. Diplomatic ties are diminished to cost d’affaires stage as Erdogan calls the chief of the “unacceptable coup”, and future president of Egypt, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, an “illegitimate tyrant”. In November, Cairo declares Turkey’s ambassador “persona non grata”. Turkey step by step turns into a hub for Egyptian exiles, together with senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders, and opposition media retailers, whereas Erdogan adopts a hand gesture made common at anti-coup protests in Egypt.
Within the coming years, the 2 international locations are additionally at odds over Libya, the place they again opposing factions in an unresolved battle, and likewise over maritime borders within the gas-rich Jap Mediterranean.
2020: Egypt, together with Greece, is at odds with Turkey in a tense maritime boundary dispute within the Jap Mediterranean about rights to seek for and exploit pure gasoline deposits.
2021: Egypt and Turkey maintain exploratory talks in Might and September to debate the restoration of bilateral relations, as regional alliances shift following an finish to the Gulf disaster between Turkey’s ally Qatar on one aspect, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on the opposite.
2022: El-Sisi and Erdogan meet and shake arms for the primary time in Doha, Qatar in the course of the opening of the World Cup.
2023: In February, Egypt’s International Minister Sameh Shoukry pays a go to to Turkey in a present of solidarity after the devastating earthquakes that killed tens of 1000’s of individuals – marking the primary go to of an Egyptian official to Turkey in a decade.
In March, Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a one-day go to to Egypt amid persevering with efforts to fix ties between Ankara and Cairo – the primary senior Turkish official to go to Egypt within the final decade.