Turkish prime minister Binali Yıldırım said on Friday that Turkey is willing to normalise relations with Egypt and Syria.
“We normalised our relations with Russia and Israel and now we are undertaking a new Turkish initiative to normalise relations with Egypt and Syria,” Yıldırım said in a televised speech.
Diplomatic relations between Egypt and Turkey have been witnessing tension since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013. A great supporter of the Brotherhood regime, Turkey denounced on several occasions the staged coup against the Brotherhood regime and the crackdown on its members and supporters.
Earlier in August, spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abou Zeid said that Egypt has no problem in reconnecting diplomatic ties with Turkey on the condition that it acknowledges the 30 June Uprising.
Another condition is that Turkey should refrain from intervening in Egypt’s internal affairs, Abou Zeid added.
Yıldırım’s recent statements were widely perceived as a significant transformation in its foreign policy. Since the Syrian conflict started in 2011, Turkey has been explicitly supporting the opposition forces in many ways. Its shared border with Syria near Antakiya was the only entrance for foreign opposition fighters in Syria, as well as weapons and armour.
On Friday, Yıldırım said Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad is a key player in the Syrian conflict and can stay in power during the next transitional phase.
During a visit by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia in early July, he apologised to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the pilot who died after his fighter jet was shot down in Syria by a Turkish warplane in November 2015.
Erdogan also tried to normalise relations with Israel. On Wednesday, he signed a bill that enables full reconciliation with Israel.