World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's Finance Minister Ahmed Galal said the country has no plans to return a $1 billion deposit to Turkey now.
"The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) follows the issue of the Turkish deposit closely," Galal told Anadolu Agency Sunday by email.
"Foreign currency reserves have reached a satisfying level," added the minister.
He said the reserves had reached $19 billion, which can secure Egypt's needs for several months in case of any emergency.
Turkey had deposited $500 million in the CBE in October 2012 and an additional $500 million in January 2013.
The five-year-term deposit was granted at a low interest rate of 1 percent.
Political tensions between Cairo and Ankara following the army's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi had prompted suggestions that Turkey may ask Egypt to return the cash deposit.
A senior Finance Ministry source revealed that Galal had met the CBE governor a week ago to discuss possible options in case Ankara wanted the money.
"We have not been asked to return the deposit yet, but we are ready for such a scenario," the official told AA.
He cited ongoing contacts with Gulf countries on a fresh package of economic aid to Egypt.
Egypt has already returned a $3 billion deposit to Qatar earlier this month.
Egypt decided last month to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Turkey and declared the Turkish ambassador a "persona non-grata."
Turkey also scaled back its diplomatic ties with Egypt shortly later.
Cairo attributed the decisions to statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Egypt's domestic affairs.
Turkey describes Morsi's overthrow as military coup against an elected leader.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Aralık 2013, 15:29