Turkey will send officials to Egypt as part of efforts to mend ties between the two countries. The move comes a week after Ankara restored ties with Russia and Israel following bitter diplomatic rows, seeking to boost trade and shore up its regional clout.
Turkey and Egypt have been at odds since the ouster of ex-President Mohammad Morsi in 2013, an ally of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following the military coup against Morsi, Turkey and Egypt recalled their ambassadors.
The relations between the two countries will improve, and the first steps will be taken in the field of trade, Mehdi Eker, Deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said earlier this week. But Erdogan suggested that mending ties with Egypt will not be very easy. The context with Egypt is different from the rapprochements with Russia and Israel, Erdogan said, once again criticising the heavy sentences handed down to Morsi and his supporters.
Data show that political tension has not had a significant impact on trade relations. Egypt’s share in Turkey’s total exports was 2.4% in 2012 and it edged down to 2.2% last year. In the first five months of 2016, merchandise trade with Egypt fell by 2.8% y/y to $1.2bn, while this country’s share in total was still 2.1%.
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