Egypt FM: Turkey must recognize ‘revolution’ that ousted Morsi to normalize relations
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey was ready to restore relations with Egypt, but said it did not accept Mohamed Morsi's ouster from power. (AFP/File)
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Egypt's foreign ministry stated that Turkey's recognition of the June 30 "revolution" and the legitimacy of Egyptian state institutions represents the starting point for improved relations with Turkey.
In a statement on Tuesday, the foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid described Turkey's stance on Egypt as "contradictory" after the Turkish prime minister’s comments regarding the normalisation of ties with Egypt on Monday.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim spoke on a program on state-run TV station TRT Haber Monday night, and said that Turkey could restore relations with Egypt and begin negotiations between ministers of the two countries.
"Our President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] announced to the world that we do not accept Morsi's removal from power. … We are in the same region with Egypt. We cannot cut all ties with them even if we wanted to. We have geographical connection," Yildirim said.
"That's why we lay emphasis on the change of regime there and unlawful punishments given to Morsi and his supporters. Nevertheless, there are no obstacles on trade [between the two countries],” Yildirim added.
Egyptian ties with Turkey have deteriorated following the army's ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which followed mass protests against his rule.
Spokesperson Abu Zeid commented on Yildirim’s remarks saying that Egypt welcomes attempts at restoring relations, however "it must be clear that the recognition of the legitimacy of the Egyptian people's will represented in the June 30 revolution is the starting point for improved relations with Turkey."
Erdogan has been openly critical of Muosi's ouster. Last April, Erdogan stated that before Ankara could consider improving ties with Cairo, Egypt should free Morsi from jail and lift its mass death sentences
On Sunday, the Turkish foreign ministry criticised the sentences leveled against Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group, in the court case known as the Qatar espionage case.
Earlier this month, the Cairo criminal court sentenced six defendants in the case to death and handed Morsi 40 years in prison.
Foreign Minister Same Shukri stated then that Turkey's comments, "are against the will of the Egyptian people...and the Turkish position is unacceptable to Egyptian public opinion."
Abu Zeid praised the Egyptian judiciary system and said it will not be affected by such claims.