In a historic visit, the first by an Israeli president to Turkey since 2007, he said Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoganToday, Wednesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Ankara is a turning point in the relationship with Tel Aviv, stressing Turkey’s readiness to cooperate with Israel in the fields of defense and energy.
Erdogan added during a joint press conference with Herzog that “the common goal with Israel is to revitalize the political dialogue between our two countries on the basis of common interests and respect for mutual sensitivities,” noting that “it is in our hands to contribute to re-establishing a culture of peace, calm and coexistence in our region.”
He also added that the development and strengthening of Turkish-Israeli relations is of great importance for regional stability and peace, stressing the importance of “realizing our potential for cooperation.”
Increasing the volume of trade exchange
He said that Ankara seeks to raise the total trade exchange with Israel to 10 billion dollars.
In addition, many indications of an improvement in relations between the two countries appeared months ago. In a meeting of the Turkish president with members of the Turkish Jewish community and members of the “Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic Countries”, last December, he said that he pays attention to the renewed dialogue, whether with the Israeli president. Or Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
This was not only the first indication of the return of relations between the two countries. At the end of November last year, Erdogan renewed his country’s desire to improve relations with Israel.
A decade of cracked relationships
It is noteworthy that Herzog’s visit to Ankara and Istanbul came more than a decade after the diplomatic relations between the two countries erupted since 2010, following the killing of 10 Turkish civilians in an Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships.
The two countries concluded a reconciliation agreement in 2016, which saw the return of their ambassadors, but this reconciliation soon collapsed after two years. However, recent months have witnessed a clear rapprochement between Turkey and Israel, as the two heads of state have spoken several times since Herzog’s inauguration last July.
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