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Turkish, Egyptian ministers to meet in process of rebuilding ties: Erdoğan

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in comments broadcast on Sunday that the process of rebuilding relations with Egypt will begin with a meeting of ministers from both countries and that talks will develop from there, Reuters reported.

Erdoğan shook hands with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Qatar last week after years of tension between the two countries in what was described in a statement by the Egyptian presidency as a new beginning in bilateral relations.

In a television broadcast recorded Saturday in Turkey’s Konya province, Erdoğan said he and Sisi spoke for about half an hour to 45 minutes during 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 lower-level meetings of ministers. After that, let’s expand the talks,” Erdoğan said, also signaling the possibility of improving ties with Syria.

“What’s happening now with Egypt could continue with Syria,” he said.

Ankara’s relations with Cairo have been strained since Sisi, then Egypt’s army chief, led the 2013 overthrow of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was strongly backed by Erdoğan.

The two countries began consultations last year between senior Foreign Ministry officials as Turkey pressed to ease tensions with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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