Israeli President Isaac Herzog departed on Wednesday for Turkey, at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It is the first official visit by an Israeli leader since 2008.
“Israel-Turkey relations are important for Israel, important for Turkey and important for the whole region. And for the first time in many years, there will be a visit to Turkey,” Herzog said in a statement released by his office. “Certainly at a time when the international order is being shaken, it is good and proper that stability and partnership be maintained in our region, and I emphasized this point during my visits to Greece and Cyprus in recent weeks and in my conversations with leaders.
“We will not agree on everything, and the relationship between Israel and Turkey has certainly known ups and downs and not-so-simple moments in recent years, but we shall try to restart our relations and build them in a measured and cautious manner, and with mutual respect between our states,” he added.
The president’s visit was coordinated with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
Herzog and Erdoğan are expected to discuss various bilateral issues, including Israel-Turkey relations and the potential for expanding collaboration between their states and peoples in various fields, his office added.
Herzog’s wife, Michal, is traveling with him.
The couple will be greeted with a ceremony at the Presidential Complex. In addition to convening with Turkish government officials, the couple will meet with members of Turkey’s Jewish community.