Turkey’s top diplomat due in Israel in May

Turkey’s top diplomat due in Israel in May

Turkey’s top diplomat due in Israel in May

Turkey’s top diplomat, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, will go to Israel to hold talks on the normalization of the bilateral ties on May 25, in a first senior-level visit in years.

“We will go to Israel on May 25. We will assess [the process] with [Israeli] foreign minister. Then we will give the decision [on appointing ambassadors],” Çavuşoğlu told reporters on his return from a week-long tour to Latin America.

He was responding to a question about whether the two countries will exchange ambassadors as part of the ongoing normalization process. Israeli President Isaac Herzog paid a visit to Turkey in early March, in a sign of breaking the ice between the two nations having strained relations.

Turkey and Israel had lowered the level of diplomatic representation to chargé d’affaires in 2018 after Turkey protested the latter’s killing of scores of civilian Palestinians in a rally against the United States’ decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Çavuşoğlu will also visit Palestine as he will go to Israel later this month.

Along with Israel, Turkey is also seeking to normalize ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“The process with Egypt started much before [than Israel] but it is going slower,” Çavuşoğlu said. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a comment on the matter, highlighted the need for better ties between the two countries for stability and peace in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean.

A meeting with Egypt at the level of foreign ministers or deputy foreign ministers can take place, Çavuşoğlu noted, saying, “We will increase our exchange. We implement the principle of not standing against each other in the international platforms.”

“Normalizing our relationship with Saudi Arabia and others is part of our strategy, including Egypt,” he stated.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, Diplomacy,