Turkey, Israel agree to work towards improving relations: AKP spokesperson

Turkey and Israel have agreed to work towards improving their strained relations after a rare phone call between their presidents, a spokesman for Turkey's ruling AKP said on July 14. 

The two countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 after a bitter falling-out. Ankara has condemned Israel's occupation of
the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinians, while Israel has called on Turkey to drop support for the Palestinian group Hamas which rules Gaza.

Both sides say the other must move first for any rapprochement.

President Tayyip Erdoğan called Israel's new president, Isaac Herzog, on Monday to congratulate him on taking office. Israel's presidency is a largely ceremonial office.

"A framework emerged after this call under which advances should be made on several issues where improvements can be made, and where steps towards solving problematic areas should be taken," spokesman Ömer Çelik said after an AKP meeting.

Çelik singled out the Palestinians as one of many issues Turkey wants to discuss with Israel, adding that areas such as
tourism and trade should be a "win-win" for both nations.

Bilateral trade has remained strong amid the political disputes.

During the call, which came a day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Ankara, Erdoğan told Herzog he
valued maintaining dialogue and said Turkish-Israeli relations were key for regional stability.

Erdoğan also reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding "positive steps"
would also help Turkey's ties with Israel, his office said.

In May, Erdoğan called Israel a "terror state" after Israeli police shot rubber bullets and stun grenades towards Palestinian youths at Jerusalem's Al...

Continue reading on: