Turkey's Foreign Minister to make first official visit to Egypt in 10 years

Bilateral and international issues are on the agenda

Turkey's Foreign MInister Mevlut Cavusoglu met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Mersin, Turkey, last month. AP
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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Egypt on Saturday, in his first official trip to the country in a decade.

The visit will pave the path for restoring normal relations between the two countries, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"The visit will launch an in-depth dialogue on different aspects of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common concern with the aim of reaching a mutual understanding that serves the interests of the two countries and peoples," said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Mr Cavusoglu was invited by his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and the meeting will entail discussions on bilateral and international issues, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported.

Mr Shoukry, who had visited Turkey in February, will hold a bilateral meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Cairo.

Egypt and Turkey held exploratory talks in May and September 2021 to discuss restoring bilateral relations, Anadolu reported.

The two countries have had a tumultuous relationship in recent years, with Mr Erdogan insisting in 2019 that he would never meet his Egyptian counterpart, after opposing the 2013 fall of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Morsi.

The two regional powerhouses have backed rival sides in the conflict in Libya, Egypt's neighbour to the west that has been torn by more than 10 years of divisions and civil strife.

Egypt is also opposed to what it sees as Turkey's meddling in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, and its attempts to muscle in on plans by Cairo and its allies to turn the East Mediterranean, where vast natural gas reserves have been found, into a regional energy hub.

However, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi shook hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup in Doha, in a sign of warming ties.

A week later, Mr Erdogan said he could meet his Egyptian counterpart to set the stage for a new phase in bilateral relations.

In an interview with Haberturk TV in November, Mr Erdogan said “the process with Egypt has started. After minister-level talks, we will get together."

He revealed that he and the Egyptian leader spoke for about 30 to 45 minutes in Doha and that “both sides were happy with the meeting". -Additional reporting from wires

Updated: March 17, 2023, 3:57 PM