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Turkish finance minister to visit Egypt for first time in nine years

Visit comes as relations between two countries warm and Ankara tones down support for Egyptian opposition
Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati at the Presidential Complex in Ankara on 9 May 2022 (AFP)
By Ragip Soylu in Istanbul

Turkey's Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati will visit Egypt on 1 June, in the first visit by a Turkish finance minister to the country in nine years.

A senior Turkish official told Middle East Eye that Nebati would be visiting as part of the Islamic Development Bank’s annual meeting. He is expected to meet with his counterpart on the margins of the bank’s meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh. 

Turkey and Egypt have sought to mend relations that were fractured after Ankara refused to recognise Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the country's legitimate leader following a 2013 coup that ousted his predecessor, the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also a vocal critic of Sisi's crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members.

The rifts deepened when Egypt and Turkey supported opposite sides in the Libyan conflict.

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Changing relations

In an attempt to mend the relationship, the Turkish government lifted a veto against Egypt's partnership activities with Nato last year and ended the broadcast of political programming by Egyptian opposition TV channels based in Istanbul.

Last year, Turkey and Egypt held two rounds of talks aimed at improving their relations.

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In April, Turkey decided to appoint a new ambassador to Cairo, to fill a diplomatic post left vacant for nearly nine years.

Officials said the new diplomat will be Salih Mutlu Sen, Turkey's representative to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation between 2015-2020. Sen, despite his ambassadorial rank, will work as a charge d’affaires. 

Egyptian opposition TV channel Mekameleen announced last month that it had shut down its Turkey offices and would be broadcasting from other locations.

Mekameleen has a huge audience in Egypt and is believed to have close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

A Turkish official told MEE that Turkey isn’t planning to expel any members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed in Egypt after the coup against Morsi in 2013.

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