Late on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the “high potential for bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, tourism, and technology,” in a phone conversation with his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog.
During the meeting, Erdoğan stressed that the international community believes in a “permanent, comprehensive two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict within the framework of United Nations resolutions,” as per the statement issued from the Turkish Presidency. “Positive steps will be taken for settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which will also contribute to a positive course for Turkish-Israeli relations.”
“We both emphasized that Israeli-Turkish relations are of great importance for security and stability in the Middle East. We agreed on the continuation of dialogue to improve relations between our countries,” Hertzog tweeted after the call.
Recently, Erdoğan received his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, in a confidential face-to-face meeting, where the two leaders considered regional developments and steps to strengthen bilateral ties, Turkey’s Communications Directorate said.
“Peace and stability in the region will not be possible if the Israeli occupation remains,” Erdoğan strained, saying that Turkey did not and will not remain quiet about Israel’s policies in Palestine.
Relations between Turkey and Israel declined in 2010 following the Israeli naval raid on the Mavi Marmara ship, which instigated an extraordinary crisis in the decades-long relations between the two countries. Both countries call their ambassadors following the incident.
In 2013, with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey and the payment of $20 million in compensation to the Mavi Marmara victims, Turkish-Israeli relations entered a period of normalization.
These relations were strained again with Israel’s policies targeting Palestinians, including the establishment of settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the humanitarian situation in Gaza. During Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza, Turkish authorities intensified diplomatic efforts to put an end to Israeli assertiveness.
Isaac Herzog was inaugurated as Israel’s new president on July 7, replacing former president Reuven Rivlin after being elected last month.