Israel, Turkey agree to restore full diplomatic ties

Tel Aviv/Ankara, Aug 18 (IANS): Israel and Turkey want to fully resume diplomatic relations, leaders from both countries said on in a historic step that followed a visit by the Israeli Prime Minister to Turkey.

Both countries have decided to reinstate Ambassadors and Consuls General, dpa news agency quoted the office of Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid as saying on Wednesday.

The step came after Lapid's visit to Ankara in June and talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the official statement said.

"The resumption of relations with Turkey is an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel," Lapid was quoted as saying in the statement.

Israel's standing will be further strengthened worldwide, he added.

The restoration of diplomatic relations is a continuation of the positive direction in the development of relations over the past year, since President Isaac Herzog's diplomatic visit to Ankara, and the reciprocal visits of the Foreign Ministers to Jerusalem and Ankara, the statement said.

Herzog was the first Israeli President to travel to Turkey in May in 10 years.

"We, as Turkey, have too decided to appoint an ambassador to Israel, Tel Aviv," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Wednesday in Ankara, calling the move a "positive step".

The official process of re-appointing envoys will start in the coming days, Cavusoglu said, adding Ankara "will continue to defend the rights of Palestine, Jerusalem and Gaza" through direct contact with Israel via its new Ambassador.

Turkey and Israel, once close allies, fell out in 2010 after 10 Turkish citizens were killed when the Israeli navy stormed a Gaza solidarity ship.

There was an initial rapprochement in 2016 but since the 2018 Gaza crisis, which escalated around the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, the two countries have not had Ambassadors.



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Title: Israel, Turkey agree to restore full diplomatic ties

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