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CAIRO, August 5 (Itar-Tass) - Egypt’s new authorities have denied Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan entry to the Gaza Strip, the local media reported on Sunday.
According to the Al-Youm Al-Sabia Internet portal, Cairo has notified Ankara that “the visit will not take place.” In particular, it is noted that Egypt “does not want to see Erdogan for his support of Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of the Egyptian people.”
The arrangement about Erdogan’s visit was reached during the rule of President Mohamed Morsi who was overthrown by the army on June 3 in the wake of mass popular demonstrations against the power of the Islamists. After that Ankara sharply criticised the Egyptian military, calling the removal of the elected head of state illegitimate, which naturally sparked discontent of the appointed civil authorities of Egypt. Cairo advised the Turkish side to take a balanced position and not to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs.
Talks about the prospects of Erdogan’s tour of Gaza, where he can get only through Egyptian territory, began after March 22, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologised for the seizure in May 2010 of the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, which intended to break the blockade of Gaza, bringing there a humanitarian cargo for the Palestinians.
Initially, the visit was planned for late May, but then postponed several times, in part because of the political situation in Turkey.