Ankara, 4 July, 2023 (GNP): In a significant development towards re-establishing diplomatic relations, Türkiye and Egypt have appointed ambassadors to each other’s capitals. The decision came after months of high-level talks and marks a crucial step in the normalization of ties between the two regional powers.
In a joint statement released by the Turkish foreign ministry on Tuesday, both countries expressed their commitment to improving bilateral relations for the benefit of their people. Türkiye nominated Salih Mutlu Sen as its ambassador to Cairo, while Egypt reciprocated by nominating Amr Elhamamy as its ambassador to Ankara.
The diplomatic rift between Türkiye and Egypt dates back to 2013 when the current Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, led a coup to remove President, Mohamed Morsi, who had strong ties with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), which was also close to the Muslim Brotherhood.
— Turkish MFA (@MFATurkiye) July 4, 2023
Since then, both countries have engaged in heated rhetoric and faced off on multiple regional fronts, creating tensions that hindered diplomatic dialogue. However, the rapprochement efforts gained momentum in the 2020s, with senior foreign ministry officials from both sides engaging in talks from 2021 onwards.
The turning point in the reconciliation process came when Presidents Sisi and Erdogan shook hands at the World Cup in Qatar in late 2022, paving the way for further ministerial-level talks in 2023. These dialogues and open negotiations ultimately led to the appointment of ambassadors, signifying a readiness to engage in the political sphere once again.
Türkiye’s efforts to mend relations with Egypt are part of a broader foreign policy initiative aimed at repairing ties with other regional powers, such as the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. The resolution of the Gulf crisis in 2021 played a pivotal role in catalyzing Ankara’s efforts to normalize ties with other blockading Gulf states, including Egypt.
“Qatar and Türkiye are key geopolitical partners, and Ankara would never have enhanced its ties with the blockading countries to its current levels if the Gulf crisis was not resolved,” said Mensur Akgun, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Kultur University.
With the Gulf crisis behind them, Türkiye and Egypt have demonstrated their willingness to find common ground and protect their respective interests in the region. The restoration of full diplomatic relations is expected to pave the way for more constructive engagement on issues of mutual concern, such as hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean, the conflict in Libya, and the war in Syria.