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Egypt says ready to normalize ties if Turkey recognizes legitimacy of Morsi’s removal from power

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Foreign Affairs Ministry of Egypt has announced that the country is ready to normalize ties with Turkey on condition that it recognizes the legitimacy of former President Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power.

The ministry’s statement emphasized that they welcome Turkey’s efforts to restore relations, adding that recognizing the legitimacy of current President Sisi, who was elected soon after Morsi was removed from power, would be the first step towards that.

The statement came after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Monday night that normalization of ties with Egypt is also possible, after recent steps to restore diplomatic relations with Israel and Russia.

Speaking on a program on state-run TV station TRT Haber, Yıldırım said that Turkey could restore relations with Egypt and begin negotiations between ministers of the two countries.

“The issue about Egypt is very clear. Removing Mohamed Morsi from power was a blow to democracy. Our President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] announced to the world that we do not accept Morsi’s removal from power. … We are in the same region with Egypt. We cannot cut all ties with them even if we wanted to. We have geographical connection. That’s why we lay emphasis on the change of regime there and unlawful punishments given to Morsi and his supporters. Nevertheless, there are no obstacles on trade [between the two countries]. There may be a basis for normalization in the future. Negotiations can be held between [the two countries’] ministers. We are ready for this,” Yıldırım said.

Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Egypt broke off after Sisi, who was the leader of the Egyptian military, led a military intervention ousting former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Since then, Turkey has refused to establish diplomatic ties with Sisi, who was elected president a year later.

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