Dr Mike Evans

Israel, Turkey to restore full diplomatic relations

Israel and Turkey intend to restore full diplomatic relations and return ambassadors to each other’s countries, according to Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday.

“The resumption of relations with Türkiye is an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel. We will continue to strengthen Israel’s standing in the world,” Lapid said in a statement from his office.

“Following the understandings reached during Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlot Çavuşoğlu and Prime Minister Lapid’s conversation with Turkish President Erdoğan, as well as the positive developments in Israel-Türkiye ties over the past year, the two countries have decided to restore full diplomatic ties.

“Last night, Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz spoke with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal, and the two concluded the matter,” he added.

The decision will also include both the return of ambassadors and consuls general between the two nations.

“It was decided to once again upgrade the level of the relations between the two countries to that of full diplomatic ties and to return ambassadors and consuls general from the two countries,” the statement noted.

Lapid acknowledged that the restoration of diplomatic relations is a continuation of the positive direction in relations over the past year since President Herzog’s diplomatic visit to Ankara, and the reciprocal visits of the foreign ministers to Jerusalem and Ankara.

“Upgrading relations will contribute to deepening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade, and cultural ties, and strengthening regional stability,” he noted.

The two countries removed their ambassadors in 2018 over the deaths of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during violent protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.