The leaders of Egypt and Turkey agreed to upgrade diplomatic ties and exchange ambassadors on Monday, in a fresh sign of a thaw in ties between the two countries after decade-long strains.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to congratulate him on his re-election, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency spokesman.
The presidents “agreed to strengthen ties and cooperation between the two sides, and decided to begin immediately upgrading diplomatic relations between the two countries and exchange ambassadors,” the statement added.
Relations between Egypt and Turkey soured in mid-2013 after the army, then led by al-Sissi, toppled Egypt’s then Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party was a main backer of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. In response, Egypt expelled the Turkish ambassador and downgraded ties with Ankara to the level of charge d’affaires.
The two countries also supported opposing sides in conflict-torn Libya.
Steps towards rapprochement began two years ago as officials began talks to resolve their differences.
While visiting Cairo in March, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said a meeting between al-Sissi and Erdoğan is likely expected after the Turkish elections.