“We both emphasized that Israeli-Turkish relations are of great importance for security and stability in the Middle East. We agreed on the continuation of a dialogue in order to improve relations between our countries,” the Israeli president said of his conversation with Erdogan.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, indicating that the frosty relationship between the two countries could be thawing.
Erdogan is said to have congratulated Herzog on being sworn into office last week.
“I spoke a few hours ago with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, who called to congratulate me on assuming my position as the president of the State of Israel,” Herzog posted on Twitter.
“We both emphasized that Israeli-Turkish relations are of great importance for security and stability in the Middle East. We agreed on the continuation of a dialogue in order to improve relations between our countries,” he said.
Herzog and Erdogan agreed that there is huge potential to cooperate in the fields of energy, tourism and technology.
Both men are said to have agreed to maintain an ongoing dialogue “despite the differences of opinion, with the goal of making positive steps toward a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Relations between Jerusalem and Ankara have cooled in the past few years as Erdoğan’s pro-Islamist ideology has led to heavy criticism of Israel—most recently, with Turkey backing the Hamas terror group in Gaza when it began launching thousands of rockets into Israeli population centers in May.
Equally problematic is allowing Hamas members into the country. Last year, Israel accused Turkey of giving passports to members of the terrorist group Hamas in Istanbul
Erdogan recently struck a less conciliatory tone while hosting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul. In a private discussion, the Turkish leader reportedly predicted that there could not be lasting peace in the region “as long as Israel’s policies continue.”
Erdoğan calls Herzog amid tense relations between Israel and Turkey