Egypt chides Turkey over Erdogan's statements

Friday 11-11-2016 03:33 PM

Turkish prime minister Rajab Tayyeb Erdogan

CAIRO, Nov 11 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's foreign ministry condemned statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Friday.

In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Erdogan accused Egypt of supporting the Gulen movement, led by Fethullah Gulen, who has been accused of masterminding the failed coup attempt in Turkey last July.

"We differentiate between the Egyptian people and the Egyptian administration," he said. "We love Egyptians and we gave them all the support but we are against coup governments that violate freedoms."

Egypt's foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abo Zeid described the statements as irresponsible. 

"The statements are a continuation of the confused approach and double-standards that have characterized Turkish policy during recent years," he said in an official statement on Friday.

Abo Zeid expressed his astonishment of Erdogan's statements on freedoms in Egypt, referring to the latter's security crackdown following the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

According to the statement, he "expressed his shock at the Turkish President's attempt to present himself as the guardian of freedom and democracy, while his government continues to arrest hundreds of university professors and journalists and tens of parliamentarians, closes down tens of newspapers, and dismisses tens of thousands of public service workers, army officers, and judges from their jobs, under the pretense of their involvement in the coup plot to overthrow the regime."

Egyptian ties with Turkey have deteriorated since 2013, when Sisi led a military ouster of then-president Mohamed Mursi, following mass protests against Mursi's rule.

Sisi, the country's defence minister under Mursi, was elected as a president with a sweeping majority in 2014.

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