Turkey, Israel hail new era after years of diplomatic rupture

Turkey, Israel hail new era after years of diplomatic rupture

Turkey, Israel hail new era after years of diplomatic rupture

Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit will mark the start of a new milestone for bilateral relations of Turkey and Israel, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 9.

“I believe that this historic visit will be a new turning point in Turkey-Israel relations,” Erdoğan said, speaking at a joint press conference.

It is a shared goal that Turkey and Israel revive the political dialogue between the countries based on common interests and respect for mutual sensitivities, Erdoğan added.

Emphasizing that the development and strengthening of the relations were of great importance in terms of regional peace and stability, Erdoğan said, “It is in our hands to contribute to making peace, serenity and the culture of co-existence prevail once again in our region.”

“The further we can advance our bilateral cooperation and regional dialogue over a positive agenda, the easier it will get for us to address the issues about which we have differences of opinion. It is of particular importance that we unleash our potential for cooperation in various areas, particularly in economy and commerce,” he added.

Erdoğan stated he told Herzog that Turkey was ready for cooperation in the field of energy and energy security. “Turkey has the experience to implement such projects,” he noted.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez will pay visits to Israel in the upcoming period, Erdoğan said.

The president underlined the importance of the Palestine issue for Turkey.
“I shared with Mr. Herzog our approach and sensitivities on this issue in an open manner. I expressed the importance we attach to deescalating the tensions in our region and preserving the vision for a two-state solution,” he said.

Erdoğan noted he underscored the importance they attach to the preservation of Al-Quds’ historical status as well as Al-Aqsa Mosque’s religious identity and sanctity.

For his part, Herzog said Israel and Turkey can collaborate in many fields that have a dramatic impact on this region. “Partnership and good neighborly relations between us - here in the Eastern Mediterranean region - are important to us all,” he stated.

The two countries must understand in advance that they will not agree on everything, Herzog emphasized, adding, “But we shall aspire to solve our disagreements with mutual respect and goodwill, by means of proper mechanisms and institutions, which we shall develop together, and with our sights together on a common future.”

Herzog’s Turkey trip was the first by an Israeli leader since 2008.

Relations between former allies began to fray following an Israeli military operation in Gaza in 2008. Ties then froze following the death of 10 civilians following an Israeli raid on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, part of a flotilla trying to breach a blockade by carrying aid into Gaza in 2010.

A 2016 reconciliation agreement that saw the return of ambassadors all but collapsed in 2018 in the wake of Gaza border clashes that killed dozens of Palestinians.

Turkish, US presidents to speak over phone
Turkish, US presidents to speak over phone