In a first, Erdogan, El-Sisi meet in Qatar on sidelines of World Cup
The Turkish President and his Egyptian counterpart share a sincere hand shake for the first time on the sidelines of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Erdogan and El-Sisi have been sparring since the military's 2013 ouster in Cairo of President Mohammad Morsi, personally backed by Erdogan.
A Turkish official confirmed to AFP the handshake in Doha during the opening ceremony for the World Cup.
BREAKING — Erdogan for the first time met Egyptian President Sisi.— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) November 20, 2022
Qatari Emir seems to have arranged a brief salutations in Doha pic.twitter.com/OeFdvsjyy9
Turkey has moved to warm ties with some regional foes including Egypt since last year but Cairo has not shown the same level of enthusiasm for a rapprochement as Ankara has.
The picture, however, showed a sincere handshake between the two leaders.
The Turkish presidency denied planning to hold a bilateral meeting between Erdogan and El-Sisi on the sidelines of the World Cup opening ceremony.
A source in the Turkish presidency told Sputnik on Sunday that there are no plans to hold a bilateral meeting between Erdogan and El-Sisi, noting that their meeting in Qatar was only during the reception ceremony.
A few days ago, Erdogan hinted that Turkey could revisit strained ties with regional countries including Syria and Egypt after next year's election.
"We can reconsider ties with the countries that we have problems with," the Turkish President was quoted as saying by Turkish media this week aboard his plane returning from a G20 summit in Indonesia.
"We can even start from scratch, especially after the June election," Erdogan added.
After the so-called 2011 "Arab Spring" in several Middle Eastern countries, Istanbul became a refuge for Islamist opposition activists, especially for Egyptians linked to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.
Turkey and Egypt began talks to restore relations in 2021. Despite the relative improvement in relations between the two countries after meetings held at the level of deputy foreign ministers, progress was slow and the two countries did not agree to exchange ambassadors.
Last year, Erdogan's government demanded popular Egyptian exiled talk show hosts tone down their criticism of El-Sisi, closed some satellite channels opposing Egyptian authorities, and prevented the Muslim Brotherhood from engaging in any activity against the authorities.