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Erdogan did not attend UN dinner to avoid Egypt's Sisi

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Turkey’s president says he avoided a UN General Assembly dinner in September 2014 in order ‘not to be in the same picture’ as Sisi.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he had not attended a dinner event at the UN General Assembly in September 2014 in order not to be seen with Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

During a live televised interview late Tuesday, Erdogan said “I don’t sit at the same table with people like Sisi. They invited us to a dinner at the same table at the UN General Assembly. I did not attend that dinner. Next day, they did the same, I did not attend again.”

Erdogan explained he did this in order “not to be in the same picture” as al-Sisi.

“Why? Because that picture would be a black stain for me in the history books. It is impossible for me to sit at the same table with a coup leader. The world knows our attitude on the issue,” Erdogan said.

His remarks came after earlier remarks by pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party leader Selahattin Demirtas claiming Turkey’s attitude towards Egypt was “not clear”. Demirtas suggested “a delegation from Turkey to go to Egypt and not to return until the death sentences on Morsi and co-defendants are revoked.”

Last month, the court had asked for the opinion of Egypt’s highest religious authority on death sentences it issued against Morsi and 105 of his supporters who were accused of taking part in a mass jailbreak during Egypt’s 2011 uprising that ousted the former president Hosni Mubarak.

Erdogan said he did not find Demirtas’s suggestion sincere and called on Demirtas to send his own delegation.

President Erdogan has been visiting various cities in Turkey ahead of the June 7 parliamentary elections. During his public speeches, Erdogan has often repeated: “To me, Sisi is not the president of Egypt. The president of Egypt is [Mohamed] Morsi because he has been publicly elected.”

Mohamed Morsi had become president in 2012 in Egypt’s first truly democratic election before being removed by a coup d’état the next year.

Resource: Anadolu Agency, June 02,2015

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