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    Turkey Hopes to Normalize Ties With Egypt as PM Plans to Find Ankara Friends

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    Restoring relations with Egypt remains one of the Turkish government's top priorities, Fevzi Sanverdi of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party told Sputnik.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (File)
    © AFP 2019 / STR / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE
    In an interview with Sputnik, Fevzi Sanverdi of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party pointed out that the Turkish government is interested in the speedy restoration of ties between Ankara and Cairo.

    The interview came after talks between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on the sidelines of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement summit, which ended in Venezuela on Sunday.

    A photo of the two's meeting was posted on Twitter by the Egyptian Foreign Minister's spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

    Fevzi Sanverdi, for his part, recalled that right after taking office, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim underscored that it was necessary for Ankara to increase the number of countries which Turkey can consider its friends and partners, as well as bolster cooperation with its neighbors in the region.

    "As you know, important steps have been taken to normalize our political, economic, and military ties with Russia and Syria, Yildirim, who is also a member of a parliamentary panel on foreign affairs, said. 

    As far as Egypt is concerned, the Turkish government wants to return bilateral cooperation to its pre-crisis level, he said, adding that the issue of the normalization of relations is discussed by both sides at different levels, including the Foreign Ministry and other departments, within the framework of international meetings.

    "It is safe to say that the restoration of ties with Egypt currently remains one of the key tasks of the Turkish leadership. We are convinced that both sides will benefit from the development of Turkish-Egyptian relations, something that was case with the Turkish-Russian ties. We expect concrete steps in this direction in the near future," he said.

    In July, the Egyptian parliament's speaker Ali Abdel Aal told Sputnik that his country is ready to cooperate with Turkey, which has been seeking to improve relations with its neighbors, provided it does not interfere in Egypt's internal affairs.

    "My judgment on a matter is taken in balance with the opinion of the Egyptian people. We do not and we would not allow other states to interfere in our internal affairs. If a country respects this principle, we are ready to cooperate with any state, including Turkey," Aal said.

    Relations between Egypt and Turkey deteriorated following former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's removal from power in a 2013 state coup, the legitimacy of which Ankara refused to recognize.

    The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on June 28 that Cairo was ready to mend ties with Turkey if Ankara recognizes the legitimacy of Morsi's ousting.

    Turkey has also begun to normalize relations with Russia. On June 27, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a letter addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin had apologized over the downing of a Russian bomber over Syria in November 2015 and extended condolences to the family of the pilot who was killed in the incident.

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    restoration, normalization, relations, cooperation, government, Turkey, Egypt
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