World Bulletin/News Desk
Egypt said it had asked Turkey's ambassador to leave and accused Ankara of backing unnamed organisations bent on spreading instability - a likely reference to the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi.
Turkish Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that Turkey downgraded diplomatic relations with Egypt to the level of charge d'affaires, following a similar move by Egypt earlier on Saturday.
A written statement released by the Office of Turkish Foreign Minister reminded that Egypt downgraded diplomatic relations with Turkey to the level of charge d'affaires and declared Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Huseyin Avni Botsali "persona non-grata", ordering him to leave the country until November 29 the latest, as it summoned the Turkish ambassador to the ministry for a meeting.
The statement said Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned, within the principle of "reciprocity," Egypt's temporary charge d'affaires in Ankara informing him that Turkey has downgraded diplomatic relations with Egypt to the level of charge d'affaires.
Turkey also declared Egyptian Ambassador to Ankara Abdurrahman Selahadin 'persona non-grata.'
"The responsibility of this upsetting incident falls, before the history, on the shoulders of Egypt's temporary government that took office under extraordinary circumstances of the July 3 military coup in Egypt.
"In any circumstances, the deep-rooted relations and the friendly ties of Turkish and Egyptian peoples will always remain. We hope for our sister country Egypt to regain its stability and democracy as soon as possible, subsequently enabling our relations to turn normal." the statement read.
Turkey was "attempting to influence public opinion against Egyptian interests, supported meetings of organisations that seek to create instability in the country," said Egyptian foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty.
The Foreign Ministry said that the Egyptian ambassador will also be recalled from Ankara.
Turkey has emerged as one of the fiercest international critics of Mursi's removal, calling it an "unacceptable coup". Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood has close ties with Turkey's ruling AK Party.
The ministry attributed the decisions to statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the internal Egyptian affairs and his criticism of Egyptian authorities.
"These statements reflect an unacceptable insistence on defying the will of the Egyptian people and their legitimate choices and are considered interference in the country's internal affairs," the ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry, however, reiterated respect to the Turkish people, blaming the Turkish government for the deterioration of relations between the two countries.
In response to Egypt's decision, Turkish President Abdullah Gul spoke live on state run TRT television saying, "I hope our relations will again get back to its track."
But a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said Ankara was in touch with the ambassador "and we will respond with reciprocal steps in coming hours".
Both sides had recalled their ambassadors in August for consultation after Egyptian security forces stormed into pro-Mursi camps on August 14, killing hundreds.
Egypt's democracy 'necessary' for world
Turkish ambassador to Egypt Huseyin Avni Botsali said Saturday that keeping Egypt on the path of democracy is important for the region and the world.
"Egypt is a very important country and keeping it on the path of democracy is very necessary for the region and the world," the envoy said after leaving the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
The diplomat described the Egyptian and Turkish people as "brothers".
"I will keep praying for the best of Egypt," he added.
Last Mod: 23 Kasım 2013, 16:27