Turkey has declared Egypt’s ambassador “persona non grata” and downgraded diplomatic relations to the level of charge d’affaires, in a tit-for-tat move after Cairo expelled its envoy.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it also summoned Egypt’s charge d’affaires for an explanation in the latest row between the two countries, which began following the ouster of former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt’s charge d’affaires was summoned to be informed that “our relations were downgraded to the level of charge d’affaires and Egyptian Ambassador Abderahman Salah El-Din…is declared persona non grata in line with the reciprocity principle that forms the basis of international relations,” the statement added.
In August, Ankara and Cairo recalled their envoys for consultation. Turkish ambassador returned to Egypt in September, however, the Egyptian ambassador remained in the African country.
Ankara’s decision came after Egypt earlier on Saturday expelled Turkish ambassador to Cairo and downgraded bilateral ties to the level of charge d’affaires. Cairo also announced that it would not send its ambassador to Ankara.
Turkish Foreign Ministry also stated that Cairo was “responsible” for the recent tensions between the two countries, adding, “We hope that friendly and brotherly Egypt will regain stability and democracy as soon as possible and relations between our countries will return to normal.”
Diplomatic tensions between Turkey and Egypt sparked as a result of deadly crackdown by Egyptian police on supporters of Morsi.
On Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his criticism of Egypt’s continuing crackdown on supporters of Morsi.
“I applaud Mr. Morsi’s stance against the judiciary. I respect him. I have no respect for those who put him on trial,” Erdogan said.