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Egypt and Turkey appoint ambassadors, first time in ten years

Egypt and Turkey appoint ambassadors, first time in ten years
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with Egyptian ...   -  
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Egypt and Turkey announced on Tuesday that they had appointed ambassadors to each other's countries for the first time in a decade, the latest sign of a warming of diplomatic relations.

The foreign ministries in Cairo and Ankara reported "improved diplomatic relations" between the two countries "at ambassadorial level", adding that Egyptian Amr Elhamamy had been appointed in Ankara and Turkish Salih Mutlu Sen in Cairo.

This measure reflects "the mutual desire to develop bilateral relations", they added in two separate press releases.

These appointments mark a rapprochement between the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Relations were severed ten years ago when Mr Sissi, then Egypt's Defence Minister, overthrew his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi, a Turkish ally and member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

At the time, Mr Erdogan said he would never talk to "someone" like Mr Sissi, who became president of the Arab world's most populous nation in 2014.

The first signs of a thaw in relations appeared in May 2021, when a Turkish delegation visited Egypt to discuss possible normalisation.

In November, the two leaders shook hands in Qatar, a handshake described by the Egyptian Presidency as a new beginning in bilateral relations.

They then spoke by telephone after the deadly earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria in February.

Although relations have long been strained, trade has continued between the two countries. In 2022, Turkey was the leading importer of Egyptian products, worth a total of four billion dollars.

Disagreements remain, however, with Turkey welcoming many Arab journalists opposed to their governments, in particular Egyptians close to the Muslim Brotherhood, who have been declared outlaws by Cairo.

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