Turkey, Israel to restore full diplomatic relations

The move follows gradual efforts to restore ties, including the Israeli president’s visit to Turkey in March.

Turkey and Israel have agreed to restore full diplomatic ties and will return each other’s ambassadors once relations gradually improve, both countries said.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office said in a statement on Wednesday that “improving relations will contribute to strengthening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade and cultural ties and increasing regional stability.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“[The] The appointment of ambassadors was a step to normalize relations,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference in Ankara. “As a result of these efforts, such a positive step came from Israel and we as Turkey decided to appoint an ambassador to Israel in Tel Aviv.”

Cavusoglu added that the decision does not mean that Turkey will abandon the Palestinian cause.

Both countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests along the Gaza border against the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Turkey in March, followed by visits by the two foreign ministers, warmed relations after more than 10 years of strain.

The move comes as Israel seeks to improve relations with regional powers, agreed two years after the so-called Abraham Accords that normalized relations between Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

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