Türkiye, Israel decide to exchange envoys

Türkiye, Israel decide to exchange envoys

Türkiye, Israel decide to exchange envoys

Türkiye and Israel announced on Aug. 17 to exchange ambassadors in a bid to fully normalize the relationship after a long period of tension.

“A positive move came from Israel, and we have also decided to appoint an ambassador to Tel Aviv. The official procedure for the appointment of the ambassador will begin after we submit a decree to our president,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters at a press conference with visiting Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubaev in the Turkish capital.

Just before Çavuşoğlu’s statement, Tel Aviv announced Israel’s decision to appoint an ambassador to Ankara from the office of Prime Minister Yair Lapid. “Upgrading relations will contribute to deepening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade, and cultural ties, and strengthening regional stability,” read the statement. The Israeli prime minister hailed the diplomatic breakthrough as an “important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel.”

The prime minister held a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during which they agreed the move would "lead to many achievements, especially in the fields of commerce and tourism", it said.

Erdogan’s office said that in the call he expressed his support for the "development of cooperation and dialogue between Turkey and Israel on a sustainable basis and on the basis of respect for mutual sensitivities".

Türkiye and Israel had withdrawn their envoys in 2018 after the latter’s security forces killed scores of civilian Palestinians protesting the United States’ decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The ties between the two nations have long been suffering in the past decade, first due to the “One Minute” crisis in Davos and later the killing of 10 Turkish men by the Israeli commandos in an incident dubbed the Mavi Marmara crisis.

Çavuşoğlu explained that Türkiye and Israel launched a normalization process after a new government was formed in the latter. Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Ankara in March constituted a turning point in the bilateral ties, which was followed by reciprocal visits of Çavuşoğlu to Tel Aviv and Lapid, who was serving as the foreign minister at that time to Ankara.

“As can be recalled, we announced with Mr. Lapid in this very hall our decision to start works for the exchange of appointments,” Çavuşoğlu said. “Appointing an ambassador will play an important role in further developing our bilateral relations,” the minister stated, recalling that the two sides have already signed a deal on aviation and will hold the meeting of the joint economic committee at the beginning of September.

The appointment of the ambassador will also give an opportunity directly convey Ankara’s messages on the state of Palestinians and Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, the minister underlined, reiterating the importance Türkiye has been attaching to Palestine.

“We are not giving up on the Palestinian cause,” he said, noting, “It is important for our messages to be conveyed directly through the ambassador.”

Diplomacy, restored,