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FM: Turkiye, Israel on same page regarding normalisation of ties

May 25, 2022 at 1:38 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on May 17, 2022 [Fatih Aktaş/Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye and Israel are on the same page regarding normalisation and revitalisation of ties, the Turkish Foreign Minister said on Wednesday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“We agreed to bring new synergy to our bilateral relations in many fields and establish different mechanisms from now on,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, in West Jerusalem.

Cavusoglu, who spoke after one-on-one and delegation-level talks, said Turkiye-Israel trade volume surpassed $8 billion last year, and the figures of this year’s first quarter are “very promising”.

“We are determined to increase our trade volume and economic cooperation. It is mutually beneficial,” he said.

He added that Istanbul was the most popular city for Israeli tourists, adding: “So, we are hoping to receive more tourists in different parts of Turkiye.”

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For his part, Lapid said Israel and Turkiye are launching a new framework to strengthen bilateral relations at various levels.

“Israel expects to see progress with Turkey not only in our diplomatic and security relations, but on the economic front as well,” he added.

During the talks, he said, “we agreed to relaunch our joint economic committee, and start working on a new civil aviation agreement between our two countries.”

“Beyond diplomacy … Israelis simply love Turkiye; every day, dozens of flights leave Israel for Turkiye with thousands of Israelis who love your culture, your music, your beautiful beaches and colourful bazaars,” the top Israeli diplomat said.

He called the dialogue “fruitful and honest” to “initiate a new framework to improve our relations that will benefit not only us, but our children for years to come.”

Earlier in the day, Cavusoglu visited the Holocaust Remembrance Museum “Yad Vashem” in West Jerusalem and laid a wreath in the museum hall.

This is the first visit by a Turkish Foreign Minister to Israel in nearly 15 years.

Cavusoglu’s engagements in Israel were followed by a visit to Palestine on Tuesday, where he met President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister, Riyad Al-Maliki in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

In March, Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, visited Ankara and met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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