ANKARA, Türkiye— Egypt and Türkiye took a further step toward restoring full diplomatic ties on July 4 by dispatching ambassadors for the first time in years, the latest step in the reconciliation between the two regional powers.
In a joint statement, the two countries announced the appointment of Salih Mutlu Sen as Turkish ambassador to Cairo and of Amr Elhamamy as the Egyptian ambassador to Ankara.
“This step aims to establish normal relations between the two countries once again and demonstrates their mutual determination to work towards enhancing their bilateral relations for the best interest of both the Turkish and Egyptian peoples,” the statement said.
Egypt and Türkiye withdrew their ambassadors as tensions between them flared following the Egyptian military’s 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi amid mass protests against his divisive one year of rule. Morsi hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood group, which Türkiye supported. Egypt has designated the group a terrorist organization.
Türkiye’s newly appointed foreign minister, Hakan Fidan, described the mutual appointment of ambassadors as an “important stage” of the normalization efforts.
“Türkiye and Egypt are two brotherly, powerful countries in their regions,’’ Fidan said during a joint news conference with his Jordanian counterpart in Ankara. “Due to their historic, geographical, cultural, strategic and religious ties, these two important countries do not have the luxury of staying apart from each other.” “From now on, our relations will continue to progress rapidly in the political, economic and all other fields.”
The rapprochement between the two countries is part of Türkiye’s efforts to build bridges with countries in the region and end its international isolation amid an economic downturn. Türkiye has recently also repaired its ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abouel Gheit welcomed the appointment of ambassadors as a “positive development that would contribute in easing (tensions) in the region.”
Egypt’s government celebrated the 10th anniversary of the anti-Brotherhood protests on June 30. (AP)