Turkey, Israel hold talks, discuss ways to improve ties: Report

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Turkey and Israel have agreed on working together to improve their tensed relations, according to Turkey’s ruling AKP Party (Justice and Development Party). This development has come after a telephonic conversation between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israel’s new President Isaac Herzog on Monday. The Turkish President had called his Israeli counterpart to congratulate him on taking office after a major victory in June 2021 elections.

As per media reports, AKP Party spokesperson Omar Celik has stated that the Turkish government is working on a framework to address key issues to facilitate improvements and steps to solve problematic areas between the two countries.

“We hope that we will see more concrete steps from now on in terms of dialogue on solving problems and developing mutual cooperation. We will act accordingly,” Celik said, after an AKP party meeting. The official added that both sides are also discussing mutual appointment of ambassadors between the two countries.

Turkey’s take on Israeli-Palestinian crisis

During the telephone call, Turkey’s Erdogan extended support to maintaining dialogue with Israel, noting that relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv were crucial for regional stability in the eastern Mediterranean. He further reiterated his support for a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As per a statement issued by the office of the newly-inaugurated President of Israel, the two leaders stressed that IsraelTurkey relations are of great importance for security and stability in the eastern Mediterranean region. The two leaders also affirmed that the new Israel-Turkey dialogue will further the efforts towards a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians.

It is important to note that Erdogan’s call to his Israeli counterpart has come a day after his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul. During the meeting, Erdogan had extended Ankara’s support to Palestinians, noting that it will not remain “silent about Israel’s atrocities in Palestine”.

Turkey-Israel tensions

Turkey and Israel have been experiencing sour relations over Ankara’s criticism for Tel Aviv’s policies towards Palestinians among other issues for almost a decade now. While both nations were in low-profile talks to normalise their ties last year, Israeli actions against Gaza in early 2021 hindered diplomatic efforts to reach a solution.

Experts have indicated that the removal of former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the formation of a new government under Herzog have brought new hopes to enhance Israeli-Turkish relations. Earlier, Israeli president Herzog held talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah to mend strained relations with the country.

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