A day after announcing support for the Palestinian cause in Ramallah, Turkish foreign minister on Wednesday said Turkey and Israel were on the same page regarding normalization and revitalization of ties.
Mevlut Cavusoglu made the remarks in a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid in West Jerusalem al-Quds on Wednesday.
“We agreed to reenergize our relations in many areas, resume meetings of different mechanisms as well as to resume talks on civil aviation,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency.
Cavusoglu becomes the first high-ranking Turkish official to visit Israel in 15 years.
“We believe that normalization of our ties will also have a positive impact on the peaceful resolution of the conflict,” he said. “Turkey is ready to take responsibility to continue the efforts towards dialogue.”
Turkish foreign minister said Ankara and Tel Aviv are “determined to increase our trade volume and economic cooperation. It is mutually beneficial.”
After years of shaky bilateral relations, Turkey has recently started to embrace Tel Aviv, despite claiming to support the Palestinian cause.
“We are determined to increase our trade volume and economic cooperation. It is mutually beneficial,” the top Turkish diplomat said. “Our geographical proximity and complementing economies make Turkiye and Israel natural trade partners.”
Earlier, on Monday, Cavusoglu said Turkey will continue to support Palestine’s fight for independence and sovereignty on the first leg of his two-day trip.
Speaking at a news conference with his Palestinian counterpart Riad al-Maliki in Ramallah, Cavusoglu said Turkey “stands with Palestine and Palestinians in their struggle for an independent and sovereign state.”
“Our support for the Palestinian cause is completely independent of the course of our relations with Israel,” he told reporters, trying to re-link recent warmth in ties between Ankara and Tel Aviv from the Palestinian issue.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who claims to be a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, also said last week that the steps they take for political-economic relations with Israel were “different” from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His government has stepped up efforts to repair their long-strained ties, with energy emerging as a key area for potential cooperation.
The Turkish president met his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog in Ankara in March, which raised eyebrows across the region.
Israel occupied East al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza but has been occupying the other territories ever since.
Two years ago, four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco – agreed to normalize relations with Israel under US-brokered agreements.
Palestinians described the rapprochements as a stab in their back and a direct affront to their cause to liberate their lands from Israeli occupation.