NEWS

Turkey eyeing Egypt ties to counter Greek influence

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed on Friday that he was concerned about the good relations developing between Greece and Egypt in recent years.

“It saddens us to see the Egyptian people forced to side with the Greek people. It makes us sad to see that Egyptians are in solidarity with Greeks,” he told journalists after Friday prayers.

The statement followed two days of talks between Egyptian and Turkish officials in Cairo on Wednesday and Thursday, aimed at resetting ties between the two countries. “The Egyptian people and the Turkish nation have a unity based on history,” he said, noting that more meetings will follow between the two sides. 

The comments are in stark contrast with the statements made by Erdogan in recent years when he called Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a “putschist” and a “tyrant,” while Turkey offered refuge to members of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood.

On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that there was a “positive atmosphere” in Cairo.

“We always say that Egypt will also profit from cooperation over here. When the relations improve to that level, we will discuss them as well for sure,” he was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.

Meanwhile, the EU commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, paid a working visit to Ankara on Friday, during which she met with Cavusoglu, who called for more EU aid to tackle migration and visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.