World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey and Egypt, the two heavyweights in the Middle East with significant political leverage, will not let their differences on how they see the latest developments in Egypt damage their very strong bilateral ties, the top Egyptian diplomat in Ankara said on Monday.
Top Turkish officials have condemned the military overthrow of Egypt's first demonsratically elected president Morsi, emphasizing its being a coup.
Egyptian Ambassador to Turkey Abderahman Salaheldin said that the relationship between the two countries is the product of centuries of a close relationship and both sides value the close cooperation between the two countries.
“This relationship is not a product of today, this year or this government and that government. It is the product of centuries of a close relationship that is honored by the people of both countries. We should be responsible to our people in this regard,” he said.
He also underlined that both Turkish and Egyptian officials have been in constant contact with one another through telephone diplomacy since last Wednesday when the military deposed President Mohammed Morsi.
He also said both countries have what he called “genuine interest” in keeping their relations intact and seeing them flourish further very soon.
The envoy said both the government and the opposition in Turkey agree that relations with Egypt are important. The same is also true in Egypt, he stressed, adding that Turkey is not a controversial issue in Egyptian public opinion.
“I have no problem communicating with Turkish officials -- politicians from the government and the opposition. This is something that has not stopped and I think my counterpart in Cairo is in a similar situation. I think we have no lack of dialogue and communication. Right now I'm trying to make sure that this dialogue is channeling the right and accurate info about what is going on in Egypt. We have always counted on this close relationship. The way the two countries perceive each other is very important. And the two of them perceive each other as very important,” Salaheldin noted.
He said he has no concern on trade volume or the volume of investment in economic relations, but stated he is worried about the long term effect of having one-sided reports or statements coming out of Turkey.
“This would reflect negatively on the image of Turkey in public opinion. There has always been a very positive view of and great admiration for Turkish performance, before [former President Hosni] Mubarak's time, through Mubarak, through Morsi and today,” the ambassador explained.
“I'm very keen that this will continue to be positive. This is my concern as an ambassador. My eyes are always on the long-term relationship. This is what is important,” he emphasized.
“We both perceive the relationship as fundamental in the face of all the troubles that are going on around us. And I know that Turkey is genuinely interested in Egypt's stability, democracy and welfare. I believe that Turks across the board are genuinely interested in that. They are not interested in intervening or meddling in Egyptian affairs,” he said.
Salaheldin argued that the perception of most Egyptians is that the military intervention is to correct the course of the revolution.
The Egyptian envoy also ruled out the possibility of civil war in his country, although he acknowledged that some may try to stir up violent disturbances in Egypt in order to pave the way for the instability that is seen in other countries in the Middle East.
He also noted that most Egyptians prefer to have an inclusive and representative government. “No one will be excluded. There should be no witch hunt for anyone, any group or any party. And there should be no exclusion of anyone,” he explained.Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2013, 09:50