On the heels of new exploratory talks between Ankara and Cairo, Turkey's president Friday stressed the age-old amity between the Turkish and Egyptian peoples.
"The Egyptian people and the Turkish nation have a unity based on history," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
He added: "As friends, we strive to restore our historical unity with the Egyptian people."
Touching on ongoing maritime boundary disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan reiterated that it would “upset” Turkey to see the Egyptian people stand in solidarity with Greece.
In an interview this week, Turkish Vice President Oktay pointed to maritime boundary lines recently drawn by Egypt as respecting Turkey’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in contrast to Greece disputing Turkey’s territory in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Recently rekindled talks between Turkey and Egypt will continue, expand, and develop, Erdogan underlined.
The remarks followed two days of "frank and in-depth" exploratory talks between Turkey and Egypt in the capital Cairo, according to a joint press release issued Thursday.
Turkey and Egypt have recently released statements on bilateral ties, suggesting a restoration in relations after more than seven years of political estrangement.
The two countries exchanged positive signals on establishing contacts and dialogue, including possible talks to demarcate their maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean.
On COVID-19 vaccines, Erdogan said that efforts continue to finish developing a Turkish vaccine as it continues to supply other vaccines to the Turkish public.
"Once they are ready, Turkey will share its COVID-19 vaccines with everyone," said Erdogan, adding that science is not for some parts of society or the world but for all.
By Merve Berker