Egypt, Turkey to hold ‘exploratory’ political talks to discuss normalization of ties

Egypt and Turkey will hold “exploratory discussions” on Wednesday in Cairo to review normalization of ties between the two countries, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“Political consultations between Egypt and Turkey… will be held from May 5-6 in Cairo. The exploratory discussions will focus on the necessary steps that may lead to the normalization of bilateral relations and within the regional context,” the ministry’s statement said.

Ties between the two countries have been strained since Egypt’s army ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Mursi, an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in 2013.

The two countries also clashed over maritime jurisdiction and offshore resources, as well as differences in Libya, where they backed opposing sides in the civil war.

After trading insults and accusations for years, Turkey and Egypt have recently lowered the temperature of their public comments.

Turkey said in March it had resumed diplomatic contacts with Egypt and wanted to improve coordination.

The two countries’ foreign ministers spoke by phone in April, their first direct contact since Ankara’s push to improve ties with Cairo.

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