Turkey, Egypt to continue consultations as second round of talks end

Delegations headed by Turkish Ambassador and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal and Egyptian Ambassador and Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Sanad Loza concluded the two-day long consultation meetings held in Ankara on Wednesday.

The delegations “addressed bilateral issues as well as a number of regional topics”, a joint statement by the two countries’ Foreign Ministries read. Topics include the situation in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Palestine and the eastern Mediterranean.

The consultations confirm the two countries’ “desire to make progress in areas under discussion”, the ministries said in the statement. Egypt and Turkey also agree that further steps are necessary for normalisation of relations.

Ahead of the meeting, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had said his country was “eager to find a resolution” for improved relations with Ankara. The door to progress would open when Egypt was “satisfied” that outstanding issues were resolved, Bloomberg reported.

Shoukry had stated the purpose of the exploratory talks as seeking a “ clear political ground that meets the needs of both Egypt and Turkey”, in comments made on a televised debate in May.

A point of contention for Shoukry had been Istanbul-based television channels that were pro-Muslim Brotherhood and against the Egyptian government, according to Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram. The area has already seen “some improvement”, it said citing experts.

The Egyptian minister has also spoken against Turkish military presence in Libya, saying in June that Cairo had been “looking forward to the expulsion of all foreign forces and mercenaries” from the war-torn country.

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