Israel, Turkey fully restore diplomatic relations

Jerusalem, Aug 17 (EFE).- Turkey and Israel decided to fully restore diplomatic ties after a rapprochement process that ended years of tensions, the Israeli government announced on Wednesday.

“It was decided to once again upgrade the level of the relations between the two countries to that of full diplomatic ties and to return ambassadors and consuls general from the two countries,” the office of prime minister Yair Lapid said in a statement.

Israeli foreign ministry director general Alon Ushpiz and Turkish deputy foreign minister Sedat Önal agreed to fully restore the relations to 2018 levels during talks that took place on Tuesday, the statement added.

“The resumption of relations with Türkiye is an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel. We will continue to strengthen Israel’s standing in the world,” Lapid said.

The rapprochement process began last year. In March, Isaac Herzog became the first Israeli president to visit Turkey in 15 years.

Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not visit Ankara in his 12 years in office, marked by tensions with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In 2010, the Turkish-Israeli relations reached their lowest point with the closure of embassies after nine people were killed as Israeli forces stormed the Mavi Marmara humanitarian flotilla aiming to break the blockade imposed on Gaza.

Although the ambassadors returned to their posts in 2016, two years later Turkey again expelled the Israeli delegate after the unrest that followed the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Trade relations, however, continued to grow despite the lack of diplomatic representation. EFE


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