“We have contacts both at the level of intelligence and foreign ministries with Egypt. Diplomatic-level contacts have started,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Turkey's FM Minister speaks during the trilateral meeting of Turkey, Qatar, Russia in Doha, Qatar on March 11, 2021.
Turkey's FM Minister speaks during the trilateral meeting of Turkey, Qatar, Russia in Doha, Qatar on March 11, 2021. (AA)

Turkey and Egypt have started diplomatic-level contacts after a years-long hiatus triggered by a rift in bilateral relations in 2013.

“We have contacts both at the level of intelligence and foreign ministries with Egypt. Diplomatic-level contacts have started,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with Anadolu Agency and TRT.

Noting that neither side put forward preconditions, Cavusoglu said ties distracted for years could not be built at once and easily.

He said having a lack of trust is also normal in such situations and may occur for both parties.

“For this reason, negotiations take place and continue under a certain strategy, road map,” Cavusoglu said.

Relations between Cairo and Ankara came to an abrupt freeze when Egypt’s general-turned-President Abdel Fattah el Sisi waged a military coup against the country’s first-democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi in August 2013.

Talking about Ankara's relations with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, Cavusoglu said if Saudi Arabia and UAE take a positive step, Turkey will reciprocate.

READ MORE: Is Egypt warming up to Turkey's proposition in the eastern Mediterranean?

Afghan peace process

Turkey is planning to host a round of Afghanistan peace talks in Istanbul in April, and will appoint a special Afghanistan envoy, Cavusoglu added.

Cavusoglu said Turkey had previously been asked by Afghan officials, the Taliban and the negotiation team to host talks, and this week's decision came after a US proposal for Turkey to host a meeting.

He said the aim was for talks between the Taliban and the government to continue in a "goal-oriented" way.

"This is not a meeting that is an alternative to the Qatar process, it is a complement to that," Cavusoglu said. "We will carry this out in coordination with brotherly Qatar, but it will be in Turkey."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week in a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that Washington intends to ask the UN to convene foreign ministers and envoys of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the US to discuss how to promote peace in Afghanistan.

Cavusoglu said he believes that Turkey will contribute significantly to the meeting.

READ MORE: Antony Blinken's neo-colonial letter to Afghanistan

Source: AA