Turkish President Erdogan says he supports cooperation and dialogue between Türkiye and Israel — built on a sustainable basis and respect for mutual sensitivities.

Erdogan has expressed his satisfaction on the progress in ties under a framework agreed upon during recent visits to Türkiye by Israeli leaders.
Erdogan has expressed his satisfaction on the progress in ties under a framework agreed upon during recent visits to Türkiye by Israeli leaders. (AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Israeli premier Yair Lapid that Ankara will take necessary steps to appoint a new ambassador to Israel as soon as possible, with the two countries agreeing to mutually reappoint envoys.

The leaders held a phone call on Wednesday, hours after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the milestone after months of steady improvement in relations.

In the phone call, Erdogan said he supported the development of cooperation and dialogue between Türkiye and Israel — built on a sustainable basis and respect for mutual sensitivities.

Erdogan also expressed his satisfaction on the progress in ties under a framework agreed upon during recent visits to Türkiye by Lapid and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Earlier in the day, Cavusoglu said steps would be taken to normalise relations between the two sides, including mutually reappointing of ambassadors.

"Türkiye decided to appoint an ambassador to Israel, to Tel Aviv," he told a news conference with his Kyrgyz counterpart Jeenbek Kulubaev in Ankara.

Cavusoglu said the process will begin with determining who will be appointed.

"We will continue to defend the rights of Palestine, Jerusalem and Gaza, and it is important that our messages are conveyed directly to Tel Aviv at the ambassador level," the foreign minister added.

READ MORE: Turkiye: Normalisation of ties with Israel won't be at expense of Palestine

Normalisation of ties

In May, Cavusoglu visited Israel, a first by a Turkish foreign minister in 15 years, to discuss normalisation of ties.

Israel also announced separately that the two states had decided to restore full diplomatic ties and reappoint ambassadors and consuls general.

"The resumption of relations with Türkiye is important for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel," Lapid said.

He added that Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz spoke to Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal on Tuesday, and the two concluded the matter.

The premier said the restoration of diplomatic relations was a continuation of the positive direction in the development of relations over the past year.

"Upgrading relations will contribute to deepening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade, and cultural ties, and strengthening regional stability," Lapid said.

Herzog also hailed the decision. Herzog’s visit to Türkiye in March, followed by reciprocal visits by both foreign ministers, contributed to easing relations after more than a decade of tensions.

In 2010, ties between Türkiye and Israel soured after nine activists aboard a Turkish flotilla, Mavi Marmara, carrying aid for Gaza were killed in an Israeli attack. 

In response, Ankara immediately withdrew its ambassador.

Following six years of hiatus, the countries restored diplomatic ties and reappointed ambassadors in 2016, with Israel compensating families of the Mavi Marmara victims.

But two years later, following the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Türkiye once again expelled Israel’s ambassador in Ankara and recalled its envoys from Israel.

READ MORE: Türkiye, Israel working to take diplomatic missions to ambassador level

Source: TRTWorld and agencies