CAIRO: Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam announced Sunday he would mediate between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to heal the rift between both countries.
“I hope such a mediation could be done,” Salam said in remarks during an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper on the sideline of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Relations between Egypt and Turkey became strained after the military ouster of Islamist former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013 following mass protests calling for the end of his regime. Erdoğan condemned Morsi’s removal and has described it as a “coup.” Both countries have since downgraded diplomatic relations and recalled their ambassadors.
Erdoğan said Wednesday in a speech at the General Assembly that democracy in Egypt was “murdered,” and added, “The elected president of Egypt was overthrown by a coup in Egypt and thousands of people who wanted to defend their choice were killed, but the United Nations and the democratic countries have done nothing but watch these events and the person (Sisi) who conducted the coup is legitimatized.”
In response, Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday that “such lies and slurs are not new coming from the Turkish president.”