Egypt accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “spreading lies and fabrications,” after the president’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Thursday.
Egypt also accused the Turkish leader of supporting what it called a “terrorist group,” referring to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian state officially designated as a terrorist organisation last December.
Ties between the two countries have been tense since the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. In his UN speech, Erdogan questioned the legitimacy of current Egyptian President and former Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry cancelled a meeting scheduled with the Turkish Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the UN activities.
“If we defend democracy, then let’s respect the ballot box,” the Turkish leader said in his speech.
“If we will defend those who come to power not with democracy but with a coup then I wonder why this U.N. exists.”
What the Turkish leader claimed is “not strange,” the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in its statement, adding that Erdogan creates “chaos and divisiveness in the Middle East by supporting terrorist groups and organisations.”