Turkey and Israel want to improve relations after presidents call: AKP | Politics News
Turkey’s ErdoÄan calls on Israel’s new president, but both sides say the other must act first for any rapprochement.
Turkey and Israel have agreed to work to improve their strained relations after a rare phone call between their presidents, a spokesperson for Turkey’s ruling AK party said on Wednesday.
The two countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 after a bitter falling out. Ankara condemned Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinians, while Israel called on Turkey to abandon its support for the Palestinian group Hamas that rules Gaza.
Both parties say the other must act first for any reconciliation.
President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan on Monday called the new Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, to congratulate him on taking office. The presidency of Israel is a largely ceremonial office.
“A framework emerged after this call in which progress should be made on several issues where improvements can be made and where action to address problematic areas should be taken,” spokesman Omer Celik said after a meeting of the AKP party.
Celik singled out the Palestinians as one of the many issues Turkey wants to discuss with Israel, adding that areas such as tourism and trade should be a “win-win” for both nations. Bilateral trade has remained strong amid political disputes.
“State of terror”
During the appeal, which took place a day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Ankara, ErdoÄan told Herzog he appreciated the continued dialogue and said Turkish-Israeli relations were essential for the regional stability.
ErdoÄan also reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding that “positive steps” would also help Turkey’s relations with Israel, his office said.
In May, ErdoÄan called Israel a “terrorist state” after Israeli police fired rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades at young Palestinians inside the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Israel accused Turkey of aiding members of Hamas, which is considered a “terrorist organization” by Israel and its Western allies.
Turkey has also recently attempted to mend its frayed ties with Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Monday’s call came a month after Naftali Bennett became Prime Minister of Israel, replacing Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom ErdoÄan had frequently exchanged spades.