The two leaders “confirmed the depth of the historic ties between the two countries” during their brief meeting, Egypt’s presidency said.

The Egyptian presidency has welcomed a new beginning in relations with Turkey, a day after the Egyptian leader first shook hands with his Turkish counterpart.

Presidents Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Recep Tayyip Erdogan “confirmed the depth of historic ties between the two countries” during their brief meeting in Doha, spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement Monday, signaling that Egypt is ready to close their nine-year gap. to bridge. .

The Turkish presidency released a photo on Sunday of Erdogan and el-Sisi sharing an enthusiastic handshake for the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in Doha, with which Cairo also recently restored relations.

The leaders met on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the football World Cup in Qatar.

On Sunday, Erdogan described his meeting with el-Sisi as the first step towards a new path in relations.

“We have said that a process can begin,” Erdogan said. “A step has been taken here to initiate such a process and we have had the talks. I hope that later on we will take the process started with our ministers to a good point, hopefully to the high-level meetings.”

The unity of the Turkish nation and the Egyptian people in the past is very important to Turkey, Erdogan said, adding: “Why not again? Why not start again? We have given a signal.”

Relations between Cairo and Ankara turned frosty in 2013 after el-Sisi ousted President Mohamed Morsi and banned his Muslim Brotherhood party.

For years, Turkey has served as a haven for opposition activists from Egypt, further fueling tensions between the two regional powers.

Turkey and Egypt held their ground first diplomatic talks in eight years last year.

Also last year, Erdogan’s government demanded that hosts of popular Egyptian talk shows living in exile tone down their criticism of the Egyptian leader in an apparent attempt to appease Cairo.

Turkish security forces briefly detained an exiled Egyptian dissident this month, while authorities in Egypt crack down on activists during calls for protests at the COP27 climate summit, according to human rights groups.

But long-standing disagreements about the countries opposing roles in war-ravaged Libya have hitherto hindered attempts at full rapprochement.

While diplomatic relations between Cairo and Ankara have often been thorny, economic ties have continued unabated. According to the Carnegie Middle East Center, trade volume has almost tripled between 2007 and 2020.

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