Turkish Erdogan has called for a new Israeli president, but both sides have said the other must move to get closer first.
Turkey and Israel have agreed to work to improve close relations after rare phone calls between presidents, a spokesman for the Turkish government’s AK Party said on Wednesday.
Both countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 after a tragic fall. Ankara has condemned Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and given anti-Palestinian treatment, while Israel has called on Turkey to suspend aid to the Palestinian Hamas group that governs Gaza.
Both sides say the other must move to get closer first.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on new Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday to congratulate him for taking office. The Israeli presidency is largely a ceremonial office.
“Following this call, a framework was created according to which improvements could be made in various areas and steps should be taken towards resolving problem areas,” Omer Celik said after the AK party meeting.
Celik stated that among the many issues that Turkey wants to discuss with Israel, areas such as tourism and trade should be “win-win” for both nations. Bilateral trade has remained strong amid political conflicts.
“State of Terrorism”
In the call, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Ankara and arrived a day later, Erdogan told Herzogi that he valued maintaining the dialogue and said Turkish-Israeli relations were key to regional stability.
Erdogan also reaffirmed his support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding that adding “positive steps” would also help Turkey’s relations with Israel.
In May, Erdogan called Israel a “terrorist state.” Israeli police after firing rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades aimed at young Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque building in Jerusalem.
Israel has accused Turkey of supporting members of Hamas, which Israel and its Western allies consider a “terrorist organization.”
Turkey has also recently been trying to resolve its ties with Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Monday’s call came a month after Naftali Bennett became prime minister of Israel, replacing Benjamin Netanyahu, as Erdogan often did business.