Israel, Turkey to restore full diplomatic ties

The historic move came after Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to Ankara in June and talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Israel and Turkey want to fully resume diplomatic relations, leaders from both countries said on in a historic step that followed a visit by the Israeli Prime Minister to Turkey.

Both countries have decided to reinstate Ambassadors and Consuls General, dpa news agency quoted the office of Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid as saying on Wednesday.

The step came after Lapid’s visit to Ankara in June and talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the official statement said.

“The resumption of relations with Turkey is an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel,” Lapid was quoted as saying in the statement.

Israel’s standing will be further strengthened worldwide, he added.

The restoration of diplomatic relations is a continuation of the positive direction in the development of relations over the past year, since President Isaac Herzog’s diplomatic visit to Ankara, and the reciprocal visits of the Foreign Ministers to Jerusalem and Ankara, the statement said.

Herzog was the first Israeli President to travel to Turkey in May in 10 years.

“Upgrading relations will contribute to deepening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade, and cultural ties, and strengthening regional stability,” a statement from the office of the Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Wednesday, after a conversation between Lapid and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Al Jazeera reported.

“We, as Turkey, have too decided to appoint an ambassador to Israel, Tel Aviv,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Wednesday in Ankara, calling the move a “positive step”.

The official process of re-appointing envoys will start in the coming days, Cavusoglu said, adding Ankara “will continue to defend the rights of Palestine, Jerusalem and Gaza” through direct contact with Israel via its new Ambassador.

Turkey and Israel, once close allies, fell out in 2010 after 10 Turkish citizens were killed when the Israeli navy stormed a Gaza solidarity ship.

There was an initial rapprochement in 2016 but since the 2018 Gaza crisis, which escalated around the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, the two countries have not had Ambassadors.

The two countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, in July Israeli Prime Minister and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a telephonic conversation, expressing hope for improving relations between the two countries.

Lapid’s office said in a statement cited by Xinhua New Agency said that the two leaders agreed that Israel-Turkey relations are of great importance for security, the economy, and stability in the Middle East,” hailing a new civil aviation deal signed last week between the two countries.

The phone call was made amid warming ties between Israel and Turkey, after their years of animosity following an Israeli deadly assault on a Turkish-led flotilla attempting to break Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2010.

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