President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pushing for a meeting with US President Barack Obama during his visit to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit, according to presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Kalın said that Erdoğan’s visit to the US was not for bilateral meetings but for the Nuclear Security Summit, which is to begin on Thursday.
“Of course there can be bilateral meetings, as long as the schedule permits” he said adding that a meeting with Obama is still being tried to be set up.
“There will be a loaded schedule on this trip. There will be bilateral meetings and programs with businessmen who have investments in Turkey” Kalın said adding that Erdoğan would meet the heads of Muslim societies in America in addition to Jewish leaders.
The presidency’s anouncement that Erdoğan is still trying to secure a meeting with Obama, lends weight to reports that Obama has refused to meet with the Turkish head of state.
Kalın also announced that Egypt will be attending the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit to be held in İstanbul summit in April at ministerial level.
“The Egyptian delegate informed us that they will be attending the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit at the ministerial level, and we received this [news] with delight.”
Ankara is one of the most vocal critics of the Egyptian administration, which came to power after the military toppled former President Mohammed Morsi, a politician from the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2014. Erdoğan has publicly criticized Egypt’s President Abdel-Fettah al Sisi, on many occasions.
Turkey’s refusal to accept Morsi’s ouster prompted the new Egyptian leadership to cut ties with Turkey and expel the Turkish ambassador from Cairo. Ankara responded in kind, declaring Egypt’s ambassador to Turkey persona non grata. On several occasions diplomatic representatives have tried to mend ties between the two countries, but each step has backfired.