Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to visit Turkey this week

Ties between the two regional powerhouses set to improve after they were cut a decade ago

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Cairo, Egypt, in March. Reuters
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Egypt's Foreign Minister is expected to visit Turkey later this week, Ankara announced on Monday, indicating that progress towards the reinstatement of ambassadors could be made after ties were cut a decade ago.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told private broadcaster A Haber that his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry could visit this week and that more details would be released on Wednesday.

“It is time to take concrete steps,” he said. “During Mr Shoukry's visit, we can take steps to appoint ambassadors.”

Mr Cavusoglu was in Cairo last month on the first such visit since relations were severed 10 years ago following the overthrow in July 2013 of Egypt's former president and Turkey's ally Mohamed Morsi.

Mr Shoukry visited Turkey in late February to show solidarity after massive earthquakes in Turkey and Syria killed more than 50,000 people.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister said during Mr Cavusoglu's visit to Cairo last month that talks with Turkey on the possibility of restoring ambassadors would happen at the appropriate time.

Two rounds of exploratory talks between Egypt and Turkey on improving relations in 2021 made little progress. They were followed by a meeting last November between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Qatar.

The two leaders may meet again after Turkey's May 14 election, Mr Cavusoglu said.

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 Mr Morsi.

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

Updated: April 10, 2023, 7:41 PM