Hurriyet Daily | October/29/2014
Egypt to hurt its economy by canceling trade agreement: Turkish Foreign Ministry
Egypt’s government “will damage the country and the people’s interests and prosperity” with its decision not to extend a comprehensive free trade agreement with Turkey, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç has said.
“The current agreements with Egypt ... only held a small place in Turkey’s trade with the region, but made significant contributions to Egypt’s economy,” Bilgiç said in a written statement late Oct. 28.
Egypt recently unilaterally annulled an agreement with Turkey for Ro-Ro and transit land transportation and declared it would not extend the agreement, which is in effect until April 2015. It also decided not to extend a comprehensive free trade agreement signed with Turkey during the rule of the ousted ex-President Mohamed Morsi, the MENA news agency reported on Oct. 28.
Ties between the two countries have been strained since Morsi’s ouster last year, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan repeatedly condemning the “coup” and describing the military government as illegitimate.
An undersecretary from Egypt’s Transport Ministry was quoted as saying that the agreement, made up of several close cooperation measures, including allowing ships from both countries to use their respective waters, had significantly damaged the Egyptian national economy.
Both countries downgraded their diplomatic relations after Egypt withdrew its ambassador from Turkey over Ankara’s stance on the overthrow of Morsi.
A recent attempt to spark dialogue between the two countries’ foreign ministers in New York was nixed after Erdoğan’s strongly-worded criticism of Cairo at the U.N. General Assembly.