Egypt to cancel trade agreement with Turkey signed during Morsi period

The Egyptian government has decided not to extend a comprehensive free trade agreement signed with Turkey during the rule of the ousted ex-President Mohamed Morsi.

Ties between the two countries have been strained since Morsi’s ouster last year, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan repeatedly condemning the “coup” and describing the military government as illegitimate. 

An undersecretary from Egypt’s Transport Ministry was quoted as saying that the agreement, made up of several close cooperation measures including allowing ships from both countries to use their respective waters, had significantly damaged the Egyptian national economy.

He said Cairo would not extend the agreement, which is in effect until March 2015.

Both countries downgraded their diplomatic relations after Egypt withdrew its ambassador from Turkey over Ankara’s stance on the overthrow of Morsi.

Erdoğan has since repeatedly slammed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the military takeover in July 2013, turning the “rabia” sign of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters who faced a brutal crackdown in Egypt into his rallying symbol.