Egypt Won’t Return Envoy To Turkey Unless Interference Ceases: Foreign Ministry

Egyptian authorities have said they will not send back their recalled envoy to Turkey, unless the latter refrains from meddling in Egypt’s affairs.

Spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, Bader Abdel Aty, said Turkey must first stop its “hostile stance and interference in Egyptian affairs,” before any change in Egypt’s positon takes place, state news agency MENA reported.

The statement was released as Turkey’s ambassador, Huseyin Avni Botsali, is due to return to Cairo, after he was recalled by the Turkish government three weeks ago in condemnation of the deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi by Egyptian security forces.

A Turkish foreign ministry diplomat told AFP that the recalling of the ambassador should not be interpreted as a ‘restoration of diplomatic ties’, which he claimed “have never been cut off.”

“We recalled the ambassador for consultation and he will be sent back as soon as discussions are over,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Relations between the two countries have soured as Turkey has gown vociferously critical of what it has called a “coup” in Egypt, after the military toppled Islamist president Morsi early in July, following mass popular protests.

Egypt’s government has repeatedly voiced dissatisfiction over what it has termed “interference” in domestic affairs.

Both Turkey and Egypt recalled their respective ambassadors in mid-August for consultations, straining mutual ties.

Tensions were further aggravated when both Ankara and Cairo cancelled planned joint naval exercises, which were scheduled for October.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan infuriated Egyptian leaders in August when he criticised Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam, Ahmed al-Tayeb, for endorsing what he termed a military “coup” against elected Morsi.

Al-Tayeb, representing Al-Azhar – Sunni Islam’s highest authority – was one of the national and political figures to appear next to Egyptian army general, Abdel-Fatah Al-Sisi, when he announced Morsi’s ouster and the transitional ‘roadmap’ to democracy.

Source : Ahram