Israel and Turkey will renew “full diplomatic relations” this Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Tuesday. On Monday night, Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz spoke with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal, and “the two concluded the matter,” the PMO said.
The announcement follows a recent phone conversation between Israel’s caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“This 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 PMO added.
Despite all the hooplah, no timeline has been announced for the return of Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, or Turkey’s ambassador to Israel. Nor has a timeline been announced even for the next level of diplomats, the consuls general, to return to their posts.
A senior Israeli official told Ynet one day before the announcement that Israeli airlines would soon be granted permission to fly into Istanbul, after the signing of a new mutual aviation agreement signed last month between the two countries.
However, as with the exchange of ambassadors and consuls general, no timeline has been announced. Although a mutual aviation agreement was signed, the details for authorization of Israeli security arrangements have yet to be worked out. Israeli airlines have not flown into Istanbul for the past 15 years due to an ongoing dispute over security arrangements.
“The resumption of relations with Türkiye is an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel,” Lapid said in a statement, using Ankara’s newest spelling for its nation. “We will continue to strengthen Israel’s standing in the world.”
Upgrading relations will “contribute to deepening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade, and cultural ties, and strengthening regional stability,” the Prime Minister’s Office noted.
Following the announcement, Herzog tweeted a statement of support in English, Arabic and Turkish.
Good neighborly relations and the spirit of partnership in the Middle East are important for us all. Members of all faiths—Muslims, Jews, and Christians—can and must live together in peace.
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) August 17, 2022
“I commend the renewal of full diplomatic relations with Türkiye—an important development that we’ve been leading for the past year, which will encourage greater economic relations, mutual tourism, and friendship between the Israeli and Turkish peoples,” Herzog said in a statement.
“Good neighborly relations and the spirit of partnership in the Middle East are important for us all. Members of all faiths—Muslims, Jews, and Christians—can and must live together in peace.”