ANKARA, Jul 18 – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday slammed Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as an illegitimate tyrant, saying that Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a ceasefire with Israel.
“Is Sisi a party (to a ceasefire)? Sisi is a tyrant himself,” Erdogan told reporters.
“He is not different from the others,” he said, adding that it was Egypt’s current rulers who were blocking humanitarian aid channels to the Gaza Strip ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement.
Turkey’s government has had a strained relationship with Egypt since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, which Erdogan repeatedly called a “coup”.
The spat between Ankara and Cairo came to a head in November when Egypt’s military rulers expelled Turkey’s ambassador over Erdogan’s support for Morsi, prompting a tit-for-tat response from the Turkish government.
Erdogan, who portrays himself as the global Muslim leader who speaks up for Palestinian rights, said supporting an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire would mean legitimising the administration in Egypt.
“Egypt is not a party, they are trying to legitimise (the Sisi administration) in Egypt. It is not a legitimate administration. It is illegitimate,” he said, lashing out at Israeli attempts to exclude Hamas.
“Hamas is a party there,” he said.