Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his appreciation for Israel President Isaac Herzog’s visit to the country, describing it as a “turning point” in bilateral relations between the two countries.
In a joint press conference with Herzog in Ankara, Erdogan said improving ties with Israel is important for regional stability and peace. “It’s also in the best interest of Turkey and Israel to have good ties,” according to Erdogan, as relations between the two deteriorated since Israel’s raid on a flotilla, bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza in 2009 that resulted in the death of nine Turkish citizens.
The strained relations did not affect economic relations between the two countries, according to Erdogan which stressed the importance of potential bilateral cooperation in various fields, particularly in economic and commercial relations.
“Despite the pandemic, our trade volume expanded by 36% and reached 8.5 billion dollars last year. I believe we will increase this figure to 10 billion dollars in 2022 through joint efforts,” Erdogan added.
Erdogan also expressed readiness to cooperate in projects to be carried out in areas of energy and energy security.
On his part, Herzog said the aim is to lay foundations for the development of friendly relations between Turkey and Israel, and the peoples of the two countries. “Israel and Turkey can and should engage in a cooperation that will impact this region we all call home,” Herzog said.
Herzog hoped that Israel and Turkey should work jointly to establish peace, stability and posterity in the region where the members of “all religions can and should live together in peace.”
“I believe that all of us, members of all religions, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, can and should live side by side in peace with each other in this beautiful region,” Herzog added.
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