Turkey signals warming ties with Egypt after long freeze

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey and Egypt have started holding diplomatic talks, top Turkish officials said Friday, in a sign of warming ties between the two regional powers.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the two countries have held “intelligence, diplomatic and economic” contacts and said he hoped for “strong” ties between the two nations.

Turkey and Egypt fell out in 2013 and recalled their ambassadors over the ouster of Egypt’s late former president Mohamed Morsi. Erdogan has long backed the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist organization, from which Morsi hailed.

Turkey and Egypt also backed opposing sides in the conflict in Libya. Meanwhile, Cairo was outraged by a deal which Ankara signed with Libya’s U.N.-backed government based in Tripoli that aimed to boost Turkish maritime rights and influence in the eastern Mediterranean.

The talks resumed with neither country imposing any “preconditions” on the other, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying Friday. He did not provide further details.

Cavusoglu warned however, that progress was slow.

“Because ties were broken for years, it is not so easy to move as if nothing happened,” he said.

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