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Cairo Expels Turkish Ambassador, Ankara Retaliates

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi throw stones at riot police during clashes in Cairo on November 22.
Egypt has expelled the Turkish ambassador and downgraded diplomatic relations with Ankara.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry said on November 23 that it has declared the Turkish envoy persona non grata because of Ankara's continued "interference" in Egyptian affairs.

It said Cairo will scale back its diplomatic relations with Ankara to the level of charge d'affaires.

Shortly thereafter, Turkey announced that the Egyptian ambassador -- who is not currently in Turkey -- had also been declared persona non grata.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that he hoped relations "will be restored soon."

The decision came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the trial of deposed President Muhammad Morsi and described the situation in Egypt as a "humanitarian drama."

Cairo and Ankara recalled their ambassadors in August after Turkey condemned the ouster and a subsequent bloody crackdown on pro-Morsi protests.

The Turkish envoy returned weeks later, but Egypt had declined to return its envoy to Ankara.

Based on reporting by AP, and AFP