Osman Faruk Loğoğlu, deputy head of the Turkish Republican People’s Party, Turkey’s main opposition party, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy in Cairo on Tuesday.
Loğoğlu, who is also a member of parliament was assured by Fahmy that “Egypt had no problems with our Turkish brothers” said a spokesperson from the ministry. Fahmy stressed that the relationship between the two countries should be based on “mutual respect, common interests and non-interference in internal affairs.”
The spokesperson also reported that Fahmy stressed the need to “fix the problems, negativity and the state of tension damaging the relationship between the two countries.” He added that the Egyptian people were angry and that it would take time and “a clear stance that reflects the full respect for the will of the Egyptian people and Egypt’s political symbols and religious leaders.”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been openly critical of events in Egypt since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July. Most recently he expressed his disappointment in Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb for favouring “leaders of the coup.” His comment prompted swift condemnation from the foreign ministry and Egyptian churches. The ministry had previously warned Turkey of making inflammatory statements.
The Turkish delegation stressed its respect for the will of the Egyptian people and “expressed concern over the deterioration of… the relations between the two countries,” said a ministry spokesperson.
Loğoğlu, according to the spokesperson, stressed the need to maintain economic relations and that the delegation’s visit is “in the framework of fixing the imbalance in Turkey’s foreign policy with neighbouring countries.
Last week Turkey reinstated its ambassador to Egypt after both countries recalled their ambassadors in August. The ministry in Egypt is still reviewing its relationship with Turkey and therefore has not come to a decision of whether or not to send its ambassador back to Turkey.