Erdogan says Turkish, Egyptian ministers to meet in process of building ties

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in comments broadcast on Sunday that a process of building relations with Egypt will start with ministers of the two countries meeting and that the talks would develop from there.

After years of tension between the two countries, Erdogan shook hands with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Qatar last week in what was described in an Egyptian presidency statement as a new start in bilateral relations between them.

In a televised discussion program recorded in Turkey's Konya province on Saturday, Erdogan said that he and Sisi had spoken for around half an hour to 45 minutes at 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 ministers coming and going at a low level. After that, let's broaden and widen these talks,” Erdogan said, also signaling the possibility of improving ties with rival Syria.

“Just as this business is now on track with Egypt, things may also get on track with Syria,” he said.

Ankara's ties with Cairo have been strained since Sisi, then Egypt's army chief, led the 2013 ouster of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was strongly supported by Erdogan.

The two countries started consultations between senior foreign ministry officials last year amid a push by Turkey to ease tensions with Egypt, the UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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