Erdogan Dismisses Congratulatory Message to Sissi

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

ANKARA — The recent congratulatory message sent by President Abdullah Gul to Abdel Fattah el-Sissi on being elected Egyptian president was dismissed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said such messages are “meaningless.”

Erdogan blamed western countries of falling short of even calling the incident a coup, citing the military coup d’état by the Egyptian army last year that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood’s former President Mohamed Morsi.

“Western countries and the rest of the world could not call it coup, they had even sent congratulatory messages to the one who has come up after the coup and was elected in the so-called elections,” Erdogan said on June 24, addressing EU ambassadors at a luncheon.

“Such congratulations have no meaning, because we can’t congratulate an administration resulting from a coup d’état,” Erdogan said.

Gul had taken the first step of official communications between the two countries since the former general by sending the congratulatory message to el-Sissi in the first half of June.

In June, Gul was asked whether bilateral relations between Turkey and Egypt might enter a new era considering he recently congratulated el-Sissi, Gul said “We are on the two shores of the Mediterranean. We are almost like ‘the two parts of the same apple,’” Gul added, using a Turkish idiom that means being “two of a kind.”

Last fall Cairo and Ankara had declared each other’s ambassadors persona non grata and mutually reduced their level of representation, damaging long standing bilateral ties between two of the region’s most important countries.–Anadolu Agency

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