Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have agreed on “the immediate start of upgrading diplomatic relations, exchanging ambassadors,” Reuters reported, citing Egypt’s presidency on Monday.
Sisi spoke with Erdoğan on the phone to congratulate him on his presidential win.
When Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, visited Turkey in April and met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the two agreed on a specific time frame to raise the level of diplomatic relations and to prepare for a summit between the two presidents.
The presidents may meet in person after Turkey’s May 14 elections, Çavuşoğlu said in April.
Erdoğan and al-Sisi, who had been sparring since the Egyptian military’s 2013 ouster in Cairo of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, personally backed by Erdoğan, met in November in Qatar for the first time during the opening ceremony of the World Cup.
Their picture showed a sincere handshake between the two leaders.
Erdoğan was criticized by opposition parties at home for his change of stance on al-Sisi given the fact that he said in early 2019 that he wouldn’t meet with al-Sisi until Egypt’s political prisoners –- 65,000 people, according to human rights groups — had been released.
The opposition interpreted it as a strategic move by the Turkish president ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, which were held in this month, resulting Erdoğan and his party’s victory.