Turkey intends to invite Egypt to the to the 13th Summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul next April, Turkey’s foreign ministry spokesperson said on Friday.
According to the online English version of the Turkish newspaper Hurryiet Daily News, Egypt will decide who will represent it at the summit. The official invitations have yet to be sent.
If the Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi decides to be Egypt’s representative at the summit, it will be the first high-level visit between Turkey and Egypt since former president Mohamed Mursi’s ouster in 2013.
Hurryiet also reported that according to diplomatic sources, Egypt’s prime minister Sherief Ismail may also represent Egypt at the summit.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry is yet to release its comments on the invitation.
According to its official website, the OIC is “the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.” It has a membership of 57 states and describes itself as “the collective voice of the Muslim world.”
The Secretary General of the OIC, Iyad Ameen Madani, met with Sisi on Jan. 3 in the Egyptian presidential palace, where the two discussed how to “promote and intensify joint Islamic action in all fields.”
Ties between Egypt and Turkey have been strained since Mursi’s ouster by the military following mass protests against his rule. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been openly critical of Mursi's ouster. Last April, Erdogan stated that before Ankara could consider improving ties with Cairo, Egypt should free Mursi from jail and lift its mass death sentences.
In Dec. 2014 Egypt imposed restrictions on Egyptians' travel to Turkey demanding potential travelers to acquire security approvals from the competent authorities.
On Jan. 7, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Egypt expressed displeasure at Israeli media reports announcing reconciliation in Israeli talks with Turkey. According to the Haaretz report, Egypt expressed opposition towards concessions on Turkey’s role in the Gaza Strip.