Erdoğan signals normalization process with Syria 'just as Egypt'

Turkish President Erdoğan has said that just as relations between Turkey and Egypt take shape, ties with Syria can follow the same path in the next period

Erdoğan in the Youth Meeting of AKP in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on Nov. 26

Reuters - Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in comments broadcast on Nov. 27 that a process of building relations with Egypt will start with ministers of the two countries meeting and that the talks would develop from there.

After years of tension between the two countries, Erdoğan shook hands with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Qatar last week in what was described in an Egyptian presidency statement as a new start in bilateral relations between them.

In a televised Youth Meeting of his AKP recorded in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on Nov. 26, Erdoğan said that he and Sisi had spoken for around half an hour to 45 minutes at that meeting on the sidelines of the World Cup in Qatar.

"We had narrowly focused talks with Mr. Sisi there and said now let's have ministers coming and going at a low level. After that, let's broaden and widen these talks," Erdoğan said, also signalling the possibility of improving ties with rival Syria.

"Just as this business is now on track with Egypt, things may also get on track with Syria," he said.

“There is no room for hard feelings in politics,” he added.

Ankara's ties with Cairo have been strained since Sisi, then Egypt's army chief, led the 2013 ouster of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was strongly supported by Erdoğan.

The two countries started consultations between senior foreign ministry officials last year amid a push by Turkey to ease tensions with Egypt, the UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia.