Turkey extends condolences to Egypt over plane crash

Turkey extends condolences to Egypt over plane crash

Turkey extends condolences to Egypt over plane crash

AP photo

Turkey has extended condolences to Egypt and all countries whose citizens have been killed in the plane crash that Egypt says may have been caused by a terrorist attack. 

“We extend condolences to all countries and peoples who had their citizens on the plane, Egyptian people being in the first place, due to this deplorable incident,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in an official statement released late on May 19.

It added that it “was learned with deep sadness” that the Egypt Air jet carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean on May 19 in a crash. 

Ties between Ankara and Cairo have been strained since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi staged a military coup against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, after mass protests.

In early February, while categorically ruling out meeting with former army chief el-Sisi until death penalty sentences for Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders were lifted, Erdoğan gave a green light for ministerial-level talks between the two estranged countries. 

In April, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attended the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul and handed the term presidency to Turkey on behalf of el-Sisi.