ANKARA (Reuters/Middle East Eye) –
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey can open a new page with Egypt and Syria following the presidential and parliamentary elections next year.
Erdogan said there was no eternal antagonism in politics and that Ankara could renew ties with these countries when the time is appropriate.
“We may reevaluate the relations with the countries we have problems with,” he told the reporters who accompanied him to Indonesia for the G20 summit earlier this week.
“We can reset the relations with them after the June elections.”
Domestic pressure is growing on Ankara to warm relations with Damascus. The Turkish opposition’s calls for reconciliation between Turkey and Syria are increasing, as the public grows more and more hostile to the nearly four million Syrian refugees in the country.
Meanwhile, Ankara and Cairo have been seeking to mend relations that were fractured after Turkey refused to recognize Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as Egypt’s legitimate leader following a 2013 military coup that ousted his predecessor Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president.
Erdogan, however, still refuses to meet Sisi, which is a primary condition for Cairo to repair relations.
The Turkish leader also said on Thursday that Ankara could extend its role in the Ukraine-Russia grain deal, and satisfy Moscow’s request to send shipments to countries in need.
He said Turkey could process Russian grain into flour and export it to countries that are suffering from food crises, especially in Africa.
Erdogan also said he expects issues around Turkey’s purchase of U.S. F-16 jets to be resolved soon, following a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on the sidelines of a G20 summit.
He said Biden had told him the issue was “in his hands,” a readout of his comments on the plane showed.