Turkey will take steps to improve relations with Israel and Egypt similar to those taken with the UAE, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says in comments published by Turkish media.
Ties between Turkey and the UAE were strained over regional issues, but Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit to Ankara last week thawed relations as the countries sealed multibillion-dollar investments.
“Just as a step was taken between us and the United Arab Emirates, we will take similar steps with the others,” Erdogan tells Turkish reporters on board his plane returning from a trip to Turkmenistan at the weekend, NTV broadcaster reports.
He suggests Turkish ambassadors could be sent back to Egypt and Israel and says he is planning a return visit to the UAE in February.
“Now when we have made our decision, we will of course be in a position to appoint ambassadors within a defined schedule,” Erdogan says, without offering a timeline.
In 2018, Turkey ordered out Israel’s ambassador over the killing of rioters along the Gaza Strip border.
Erdogan and Israeli leaders recently held talks that resulted in the release of an Israeli couple arrested in Turkey as suspected spies after filming Erdogan’s palace. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett subsequently spoke on the phone with the Turkish president and thanked him.
Turkey and Egypt broke off relations after the 2013 overthrow of ex-Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was supported by Erdogan. They expelled their respective ambassadors and downgraded their relations in 2013.
Turkey sought a rapprochement with Egypt earlier this year despite supporting opposing sides in the conflict in Libya. In March, Ankara said it had established its first diplomatic contacts with Cairo since 2013, while the Turkish foreign minister in April heralded a “new era” in ties with Egypt.
The two countries held talks again in September as efforts continued toward normalizing their relations without significant progress.