Turkiye and Israel are on the same page regarding normalization and revitalization of ties, the Turkish foreign minister said 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,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid in West Jerusalem.
Cavusoglu, who spoke after one-on-one and delegation-level talks, said Turkiye-Israel trade volume surpassed $8 billion last year, and the figures of this year’s first quarter are “very promising.”
“We are determined to increase our trade volume and economic cooperation. It is mutually beneficial,” he said. “Our geographical proximity and complementing economies make Turkiye and Israel natural trade partners.”
Cavusoglu added that Istanbul was the most popular city for Israeli tourists, adding: “So, we are hoping to receive more tourists in different parts of Turkiye.”
The top Turkish diplomat said meetings between ministries and governmental agencies of both countries will resume. “There are many opportunities in areas such as clean energy, high-tech, agri-tech, tourism and agriculture,” he said.
Touching on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Cavusoglu reiterated that "two-state solution under the UN framework is the only solution for durable peace,” and that Turkiye desires lasting peace in the Middle East.
“We believe that normalization of our ties will also have positive impact on the peaceful resolution of the conflict.”
For his part, Lapid said Israel and Turkiye are launching a new framework to strengthen bilateral relations at various levels.
“Israel expects to see progress with Turkey not only in our diplomatic and security relations, but on the economic front as well," he added.
During the talks, he said "we agreed to relaunch our joint economic committee, and start working on a new civil aviation agreement.”
"Beyond diplomacy … Israelis simply love Turkey; every day dozens of flights leave Israel for Turkey with thousands of Israelis who love your culture, your music, your beautiful beaches and colorful bazaars," the top Israeli diplomat said.
He called the dialogue “fruitful and honest” to “initiate a new framework to improve our relations that will benefit not only us, but our children for years to come.”
Earlier in the day, Cavusoglu visited the Holocaust Remembrance Museum "Yad Vashem" in West Jerusalem, and laid a wreath in the museum hall.
This is the first visit by a Turkish foreign minister to Israel in nearly 15 years.
Cavusoglu's engagements in Israel were followed by a visit to Palestine on Tuesday, where he met President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
In March, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Ankara and met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.