Turkish Foreign and Defense Ministers to Visit Israel Amid Strengthening Ties

Turkish Foreign and Defense Ministers, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Hulusi Akar expected to pay a visit to Israel at the end of April as part of efforts to normalize relations between the two countries.

“Turkey’s attempts to normalize ties with foes will gain momentum through important visits and meetings with Israel, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia,” Cavusoglue told ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers on Tuesday.

Cavusoglu had briefed the lawmakers and explained the government’s efforts to mend ties with the countries Turkey’s relationship was strained in the past years, Hurriyet Daily reported.

In relations to Israel, Cavusoglu said that there are important developments in regards to the ties with Israel. “We will pay a visit to Israel. Palestine also welcomes the improvement of our ties,” Cavusoglue added.

Good relations between Ankara and Tel Avivi will be in the best interest of Palestinians, according to Cavusoglu, as it would also help a lot in settling down the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip had earlier announced that Cavusoglue would be accompanied by the Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Fatih Donmez but it has been revealed that the top diplomat will be visiting the country with Defense Minister Hulusi Akar instead until the end of April, the Hurriyet Daily reported.

After years of complicated relations, Israeli President Isaac Herzog traveled to Ankara in March for an official visit to meet Turkish President Erdogan, becoming the first Israeli leader to visit Turkey in 14 years.

Erdogan is planning to reciprocate Herzog’s visit in line with the results of Cavusoglue-Akar trip to Israel.

Turkey and Israel had lowered the level of their mutual diplomatic presence to the level of chargé d’affaires following the killing of scores of Palestinian civilians by the latter’s security forces in early 2018 during a protest against the United States’ decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Cavusoglu also said that Turkey wants to have good relations with Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia, and already practical steps have been taken in this regard.

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