Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is to visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, on Wednesday, as part of an official visit to Israel which highlights the improving ties between Turkey and Israel.
During his visit in Yad Vashem, the minister will tour the Holocaust History Museum, participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children’s Memorial and sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book.
Çavuşoğlu will also hold discussions with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov, tour Jerusalem’s Old City and Temple Mount.
He will reportedly also hold meetings with senior Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah.
Çavuşoğlu is scheduled to tour the Old City in Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, where he will reportedly be without the accompaniment of Israeli officials in line with a request from Ankara.
The Turkish minister’s visit comes as part of a warming of ties between Ankara and Jerusalem.
Last March, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Turkey, the first official visit to the country by an Israeli leader since 2008. He met for several hours with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“I believe that this historic visit will be a turning point in relations between Turkey and Israel. Strengthening relations with the State of Israel has great value for our country,” Erdoğan said at the time.
One of the key issues on the agenda of the visit relates to energy cooperation, a highly relevant topic for both sides, since natural gas was discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean this past decade, wrote Michael Harari, a former Israeli ambassador to Cyprus. 44 The war in Ukraine has added an element of relevance and urgency to bilateral discussions of the opportunities that lie in cooperation. President Erdogan has clearly expressed his country’s interest in natural gas imports from Israel, most recently at a March 9 news conference, alongside visiting Israeli President Herzog. Both sides understand full-well the two intertwined aspects of the energy issue: economic-energetic and diplomatic-strategic,’’ he wrote.