New Israeli ambassador arrives in Ankara after rapprochement

New Israeli ambassador arrives in Ankara after rapprochement

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
New Israeli ambassador arrives in Ankara after rapprochement The new Israeli Ambassador to Ankara, Eitan Na’eh, arrived to Ankara on Dec. 1 to start duties in his new post. Turkey’s newly appointed ambassador to Israel, Kemal Ökem, is expected to be in Tel Aviv in the first week of December, according to sources. 

After landing at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport, Na’eh commented on Turkey’s assistance in battling the wildfire in Israel last week, saying that both countries “have a history of helping each other in times of need.” 

He added that he was looking forward to his role in Turkey. 

Na’eh served at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara back in the 1990s and returned to Turkey after three years as ambassador in London.    

Turkey and Israel decided to appoint ambassadors mutually after the resolution of a major diplomatic crisis between them.  

Following the normalization of relations with Turkey, Israel decided to deploy Na’eh to serve in Ankara, with the Israeli government approving his appointment as ambassador on Nov. 20.

Ökem, who has been appointed as Turkey’s new ambassador to Tel Aviv, served as a foreign policy adviser in former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s administration. 

An expert on the Middle East, Ökem served as an assistant general manager of the Middle East at the Foreign Ministry before being appointed an adviser to Davutoğlu.

Turkey-Israel relations came to a breaking point after Israeli marines stormed a ship aiming to break a naval blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in May 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists on board. 

After the incident, Turkey had recalled its ambassador in Tel Aviv to Ankara.

* Hürriyet Daily News regrets an error in a Nov. 30 report and confirms that Amira Oron, the Israeli Embassy’s chargé d’affaires, was heading the Israeli diplomatic mission in Ankara.