Turkish envoy summoned to Egyptian Foreign Ministry

Arab World Materials 12 November 2013 17:21 (UTC +04:00)
Turkish envoy summoned to Egyptian Foreign Ministry
Turkish envoy summoned to Egyptian Foreign Ministry

Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Huseyin Avni Botsali was summoned to Egypt's Foreign Ministry on Sunday over Cairo's discomfort about statements made by Turkish officials on Egypt Today`s Zaman reported.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry officials expressed their discomfort about remarks made by some top Turkish officials about the Cairo administration to Botsali, according to the information the Anadolu news agency received from sources at the Turkish Embassy in Cairo.

Sources said Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Hatem Seif el Nasr, who talked with Botsali at the Foreign Ministry, told the Turkish envoy that statements made by Turkish officials on Egypt amounted to "interfering in Egypt's internal affairs."

It was not clear which remarks by Turkish officials the Egyptian officials were referring to.

Turkey recently called for a fair trial for ousted President Mohammed Morsi, who stood trial on Nov. 4 on charges of inciting murder during clashes last December outside the presidential palace that left at least 10 dead.

In an address on Nov. 3, Erdogan talked about the events in Egypt, saying, "We witness brother killing brother." He added that the Rabaa sign, which has become a symbol of the anti-coup protesters' defiance, has become a sign that says "stop" to injustice in every corner of the world. "It is a sign to say stop to massacres and coups," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said Turkey would have supported the rights of those in Tahrir Square if the coup was staged against them. He added that the cause of the Egyptians is also the cause of humanity.

Botsali was recalled to Ankara in late August for consultation but then returned to Egypt in early September. After a military crackdown on two anti-coup protest camps in Cairo on Aug. 14 left hundreds of Egyptians dead, Turkey, in protest of the massacre, called its Cairo envoy back. In response, Egypt also immediately recalled its envoy in Ankara.

Sending Botsali back to Egypt had been interpreted by observers as a change in Ankara's Egypt policy and possibly an attempt to revive diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Ties with the most populous Arab nation were strained after a military coup on July 3 ousted Egypt's first democratically elected president. When Turkish officials maintained a critical stance towards the coup administration, the Egyptian side accused Ankara of interfering in its domestic affairs.

Although the Turkish envoy was sent back to Cairo with Turkish Foreign Ministry officials saying that they had completed "consultations" with Botsali, the Egyptian envoy to Turkey, Abderahman Salah El-Din, will not return to Ankara in the short term. Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy had stated that Egypt expects Turkey to change its strong position on Morsi's removal before it will send its ambassador back to his post.

"The narrow party vision of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will push relations to a course Egypt was keen to avoid with the aim of preserving historical relations between the two countries," Egypt's Presidential Spokesman Ihab Badawi said on Nov. 7. He added that his country was now "reassessing" it relations with Turkey in light of recent "contradictory" messages from Turkish officials. Badawi added that the messages from Turkish officials had come at a time when there are calls for the return of Salah El-Din to Ankara.