Istanbul Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Doha yesterday, while attending the opening ceremony of the World Cup soccer tournament, as a first step that has been taken to launch a new path between the two countries, and that other moves will follow.

Erdogan said in a press statement during his return trip last night from Doha and published here today: “I look at it this way, there was no meeting between the leaders of Egypt and Turkey… The ties that exist in the past between the Turkish and Egyptian peoples are very important to us, so what prevents us to be so again, and we have provided indications in that direction.”

He added: “I hope that we will move the stage that started between our ministers to a good point later through high-level talks.”

The Turkish President stressed that his country’s only demand from the Egyptians, in parallel with the meetings between the two countries, is that they say to those who take hostile positions against Turkey in the Mediterranean region, “We want to establish peace in the region.”

For its part, the Egyptian presidency said today, Monday, that it was agreed between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that their meeting in Doha would be the beginning of the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.

“President Sisi shook hands with President Erdogan in Doha, where mutual affirmation of the depth of historical ties linking the two countries and the Egyptian and Turkish peoples,” Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement.

He added, “It was agreed that this would be the beginning of the development of bilateral relations between the two sides.”

The two Presidents shook hands for the first time, yesterday evening, after a rupture between the two countries that extended for years, in the presence of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, on the sidelines of their attendance at the opening ceremony of the World Cup.

It is noteworthy that relations between the two countries have been strained since 2013, but the two countries later held “exploratory talks” in Cairo in May last year, and in July last year, Erdogan announced that there was no reason to raise the level of relations with Egypt, while the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced the launch of a second round of the talks in preparation for the normalization of relations between the two sides, when Ambassador Hamdi Loza, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Ankara on the 7th and 8th of September last year.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency