Erdogan slams Sisi as ‘tyrant’ over Cairo policy

Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce with Israel

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday slammed Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as an illegitimate tyrant, saying Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce with Israel, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Is Sisi a party [to a ceasefire]? Sisi is a tyrant himself,” Erdogan told reporters.

“He is not different from the others,” Erdogan said, adding that it was Egypt’s current rulers who were blocking humanitarian aid channels to the Gaza Strip.

Speaking about Erdogan’s comments, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said they were “unacceptable”.

“They have no link with the events in Gaza and do not help in the protection of the people of Gaza,” Shoukri during a news conference in Cairo.

Erdogan should rather push all the concerned parties for a ceasefire in Gaza, Shoukri said.

Relations between Ankara and Cairo have been strained since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi last July by the Egyptian military.

The spat came to a head in November when Egypt’s military rulers expelled Turkey’s ambassador over Erdogan’s support for Mursi.

Erdogan, who portrays himself as the global Muslim leader who speaks up for Palestinian rights, said supporting an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire would mean legitimizing the administration in Egypt.

“Egypt is not a party ... They are trying to legitimize [the Sisi administration] in Egypt,” Erdogan said.

“It is not a legitimate administration. It is illegitimate,” he said, lashing out at Israeli attempts to exclude Hamas.

“Hamas is a party there,” he added.

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