Delegations held 'frank, in-depth' talks in Cairo, say Turkey and Egypt

Exploratory talks between Turkey and Egypt that took place on May 5-6 were "frank and in-depth," according to a joint press statement released by the two countries' foreign ministries. "The two sides will evaluate the outcome of this round of consultations and agree on the next steps," the statement read.

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal (R) met with his Egyptian counterpart Hamdi Sanad Loza (L) in Cairo.

Duvar English 

The foreign ministries of Turkey and Egypt said on May 6 that their delegations held "frank and in-depth" talks on bilateral and regional issues in Cairo. 

"The discussions were frank and in-depth. They addressed bilateral issues as well as a number of regional issues, in particular the situation in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and the need to achieve peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean region," the ministry's statement read. 

"The two sides will evaluate the outcome of this round of consultations and agree on the next steps." 

The discussions, held over two days on May 5-6 and led by deputy foreign ministers, were the first high-level public talks for years between the two powers, who fell out over opposing positions on political Islam, maritime borders, and their backing for competing factions in Libya's war.

Relations between the regional powers have been tense since Egypt's army toppled a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood president close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2013.

Both countries expelled ambassadors and Erdoğan described Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as a tyrant.

Turkey says it remains opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood being declared "terrorists" by Egypt, despite asking Egyptian opposition television channels operating on its territory to moderate criticism of Sisi's government.

Turkish officials did not comment on the content of the talks. However, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara is fully open to improve its ties with every country in the region, not just Egypt.

"So Egypt and Turkey moving together will provide serious contributions to the region's peace and development. God willing, we will see this in the coming period," he said during an interview with broadcaster NTV.