Thu, 30 Jun 2022

Israel, Turkey agree to expand economic ties

25 May 2022, 22:18 GMT+10

JERUSALEM, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Top diplomats of Israel and Turkey on Wednesday agreed to boost their economic cooperation after years of strained relations.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is on a visit to Israel, the first such visit by a Turkish foreign minister in 15 years.

At a joint press conference in Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that the two countries are willing to open "a new chapter" in their relations after "ups and downs," and agreed to renew the work of a bilateral economic committee and to hold talks on a new civil aviation agreement.

"The goal is to form and expand economic and civil cooperation between our countries ... and to leverage our two countries comparative advantages regionally and globally, even during the pandemic, and even in times of political tension," Lapid said.

For his part, Cavusoglu said that "we agreed to re-energize our relations in several fields."

He said Turkey supports a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he believes that the renewed relations between Turkey and Israel will have a "positive impact" on the issue.

Cavusoglu started his two-day trip on Tuesday with a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah in the West Bank.

Earlier on Wednesday, he visited Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem.

Turkey and Israel have been working to mend their ties after years of enmity, including talks on exporting natural gas from Israel to Europe via Turkey.

Ties between the two countries have strained since Israel's deadly assault on the Mavi Marmara flotilla to the besieged Palestinian enclave of Gaza in 2010.

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