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Israel and Turkey to return ambassadors, restore full diplomatic ties

President Isaac Herzog (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex in Ankara, on March 9, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex in Ankara, on March 9, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Israel and Turkey will exchange ambassadors and consuls general as the two countries agree to restore full diplomatic ties after several years of tensions, the Prime Minister’s Office says.

The decision comes following a recent phone conversation between Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The renewal of relations with Turkey is an important asset for regional stability and a very important economic asset for the citizens of Israel. We will continue to act and strengthen Israel’s international standing in the world,” Lapid says.

The finishing touches on the decision were made yesterday during a conversation between Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.

Turkey recalled its ambassador and asked Israel’s envoy to leave in May 2018, in the wake of violent protests on the Israel-Gaza border in which dozens of Palestinians were killed. Turkish and Israeli leaders criticized each other bitterly, with Erdogan calling Israel a “child-murdering” country and then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing Erdogan of killing Kurdish civilians.

Ankara also took actions that angered officials in Jerusalem, most notably providing support and a haven for the Hamas terror group.

For the past two years, however, Erdogan has struck a noticeably different tone toward Israel, expressing interest in improving ties. A new rapprochement process has been underway since May 2020.

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