By Aydogan Kalabalik
Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil on Tuesday said that trade relations with Turkey should be separate from politics.
“I always try to keep commercial agreements separate from politics unless the [Egyptian] authorities have taken a specific political position that directly affects trade,” Kabil said in an interview with Egyptian daily Al-Shorouk.
“This also applies to Turkey, as Egypt has more to gain from our free trade agreement than Turkey,” he added.
Kabil went on to note that Egyptian exports to Turkey had risen by 30 percent in the first half of 2017 while Turkish exports to Egypt had fallen by some 50 percent over the same period.
“It’s not in our interest to hinder trade activity with Ankara unless there’s a political motivation, which there isn’t,” he added.
In 2005, Turkey and Egypt signed a free trade agreement that markedly increased trade volumes between the two countries.
Turkey-Egypt relations have been rocky since 2013, when Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt’s first democratically elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader -- was ousted in a bloody military coup.
Reporting by Aydogan Kalabalik; Writing by Mahmoud BarakatAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.