Monday, October 27, 2014

Egypt not to renew trade route agreement with Turkey

An Egyptian foreign ministry official confirmed on Monday that Cairo will not renew an agreement with Turkey on trade routes when it expires next April.

"The foreign ministry has informed the Turkish side with Egypt' s desire not to renew the trade agreement," which facilitates transport of Turkish products to foreign markets such the Gulf after the closure of the Syrian borders, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Under the deal, signed during the reign of Egypt' Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was toppled in July 2013, Turkish products destined for Gulf and other foreign markets would be transported from its Mediterranean port of Iskenderun to a number of Egyptian ports.

The decision not the renew the 2012 agreement will likely worsen the already strained ties between the two countries, state- run Ahram newspaper reported on Monday.

The Ministry of Transportation, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry, has decided not to renew the agreement, Ahram said, quoting Ahmed Ameen, counselor to the Minister of Transportation for marine sector affairs.

Relations between Ankara and Cairo have remained strained since the ouster of Morsi by the then army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi last year in response to mass protests against the former's turbulent one-year rule.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the time serving as prime minister of Turkey, said the removal of Egypt's first popularly-elected president was a "military coup" and has remained critical of the current Egyptian leadership. Sisi was elected president of Egypt last May.

Rejecting Erdogan's remarks as an interference in its internal affairs, Egypt in November of 2013 recalled its ambassador in the Turkish capital Ankara and expelled the Turkish ambassador from Cairo. 

Xinhua -

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