Following Herzog’s visit to Ankara, Turkish foreign minister expected in Israel
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is due to visit Israel next month as the two nations seek to rekindle once-warm relations between the countries.
Cavusoglu is expected to meet Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and discuss the reopening of embassies in the two countries.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said no time had yet been set for the visit.
Cavusoglu spoke with Lapid on Jan. 22, marking the first phone call between the nations’ foreign ministries in 13 years.
The planned visit was mentioned by President Isaac Herzog during his trip to Ankara on Wednesday, the highest-level visit by an Israeli official since former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited Turkey in 2008.
Herzog and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue of establishing a problem-solving mechanism to prevent relations from reaching an impasse in the future, and said such a mechanism would be developed during of Cavusoglu’s visit.
“Your foreign minister will be visiting Israel next month and will surely talk to the Israeli foreign minister about building these mechanisms and the agenda that you have described at length in all areas, and we will try to promote dialogue and examine it with deeds,” the Israeli president said.
According to Erdogan, Herzog’s visit “will be a turning point” in relations between the nations.
Another issue that should be raised during Cavusoglu’s visit is the potential collaboration in the energy market.
Israel’s relations with Cyprus have grown over the past decade following large deposits of natural gas in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean. The two countries have joined forces with Greece to seek ways to leverage this energy-based cooperation, including joint projects to exploit the region’s gas potential.
Turkey does not recognize the island’s Greek Cypriot-dominated government, slams its ‘one-sided’ gas search because it says it ignores Turkish Cypriot rights to potential mineral wealth and lays claim to much of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus as its own.
Herzog assured Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades that the warming of relations with Turkey will not come at the expense of its “strategic relationship” with neighboring Cyprus.
AP contributed to this report.