Israeli PM hails President Herzog for improving ties with Turkey -

25 May, Wednesday

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Israeli PM hails President Herzog for improving ties with Turkey

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday that he sees President Isaac Herzog as an "extraordinary diplomatic value" for resolving problems with Turkey.
Bennett's remarks came in a press statement from his office in West Jerusalem, according to Israeli media.
Bennett touched on bilateral relations with Turkey, stressing that President Herzog played an important role in diplomatic contacts with Ankara.
"In my opinion, the president is doing extraordinary things," he said. "He is an outstanding diplomatic value in solving problems.
"We will proceed very cautiously with Turkey. At least they are not a great friend of Iran. So we should not indulge in the kind of naivete that will prevent us from operating and forming alliances," he added.
On Feb. 3, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced an upcoming visit of the Israeli president to Turkey in mid-March.
Ties between Turkey and Israel froze over after the death of 10 civilians in an Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla carrying aid for the Gaza Strip in 2010.
In recent months, however, the two countries have been working on a rapprochement, with Erdoğan, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, holding telephone talks with Herzog and other Israeli leaders.
Erdoğan said last month in an interview with Turkey's NTV channel that, "This visit could open a new chapter in relations between Turkey and Israel and that he was "ready to take steps in Israel's direction in all areas, including natural gas."
Answering a question on the recent thaw in Turkish-Israeli relations, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın also asserted Monday that a new era has begun in bilateral relations with the ending of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 15 years in power.
"We see that the new Israeli government that brings together various factions, including Palestinians, is showing a constructive approach towards Turkey," Kalın said, adding Herzog's visit to Turkey would have a positive impact on Turkish-Israeli relations and for Palestinians.
Despite the recent rapprochement, Turkish officials continue to criticize Israel’s policies targeting Palestinians, including the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Known for its unbreakable solidarity with the Palestinians, Turkey has been voicing support for the Palestinian cause in the international realm for decades. Turkish authorities emphasize that the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the Middle East is through a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue within the framework of international law and United Nations resolutions.
Turkey is making an effort to mend its frayed ties through intensified diplomacy with regional powers, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after years of tensions. Erdoğan earlier reiterated that Turkey hopes to maximize cooperation with Egypt and Gulf nations "on a win-win basis."

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