After four-year lull, Turkey and Israel to appoint ambassadors again

After months of cordial relations, Turkey and Israel announced on Wednesday that they would reappoint their respective ambassadors, more than four years after their first recall.

After 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem, bordering Gaza, in 2018, the two nations in the region fired their diplomats.

However, they have made efforts to mend their long-broken relationship, with energy emerging as a crucial area for future cooperation.

According to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office, the two nations have resolved their differences to resume full diplomatic relations.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Photo credits: Reuters

“It has been decided to raise the level of relations between the two countries again to that of full diplomatic relations and to dismiss the ambassadors and consuls general,” Lapid’s office said in a statement following a conversation between the Prime Minister and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. .

“Improved relations will help deepen ties between the two peoples, expand economic, trade and cultural ties, and enhance regional stability,” he added.

After more than a decade of strained relations, President Isaac Herzog of Israel and the visits of the two foreign ministers to Turkey in March have helped to improve relations.

Both Turkey and Israel reported that Erdogan and Lapid spoke on the phone on Wednesday, expressing their joy at the development of their relations and congratulating each other on their choice to select ambassadors.

Separate readings from the two sides quoted Erdogan saying appropriate steps to appoint the ambassador would be taken as soon as possible and Lapid saying developing ties would result in successes in trade and tourism.

The appointment of ambassadors is one of the milestones in the normalization of relations, according to Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister.

“Such a positive step came from Israel as a result of these efforts, and as Turkiye we also decided to appoint an ambassador to Israel, to Tel Aviv,” Cavusoglu told a press conference in Ankara, adding that Turkey was picking someone.

Two years after the so-called Abraham Accords, which saw relations normalize between Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, the decision was approved. This comes as Israel has attempted to strengthen its relations with nations in the region.

In order to mend barriers with bitter adversaries, Turkey also launched a charm campaign in 2020, reaching out to Egypt, UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Although officials say normalization efforts with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are progressing well, efforts with Cairo have so far not generated much success.

(With agency contributions)

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