Erdogan Announces Netanyahu’s Planned Visit to Turkey Within Next Two Months
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently hinted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may visit Turkey in the coming months, with a potential reciprocal visit to Israel planned by Erdogan. This development marks a significant warming of relations between the two nations, following years of diplomatic tensions. The Turkish leader has expressed interest in organizing a visit to Israel to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Turkish Republic, and to pray at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Erdogan and Netanyahu recently met in New York, where they discussed Israeli-Palestinian relations and potential areas of cooperation, including energy, technology, and cybersecurity. This meeting, set against the backdrop of the United Nations General Assembly, marked a critical point in the evolving relationship between the two nations.
Reviving Trade and Tourism
Both leaders have expressed their intentions to collaborate on various fronts, including energy drilling and networks, tourism, and technology. They have set an ambitious target to increase the annual trade volume between the two countries from $9.5 billion to $15 billion.
Tourism between the two nations has also witnessed a surge. According to data from the United Nations Comtrade database, over 632,000 Israelis visited Turkey between January and September 2022, marking an increase of 448% compared to the previous year.
Mending Diplomatic Ties
These recent developments follow a period of warming relations after years of strained ties. In May, both Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog congratulated Erdogan on his victory in the presidential elections, expressing hope for continued improvement in relations. The two countries formally announced a full renewal of diplomatic ties in August last year.
Erdogan’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly, in which he refrained from condemning Israel and offered only limited support for the Palestinians, has been interpreted as a sign of improved ties with Israel.
The Road Ahead
With Erdogan’s recent electoral victory, Israel now hopes not only to preserve the rehabilitation of ties but to deepen them in various fields, particularly trade and tourism. A potential visit by Erdogan to Israel, while not officially confirmed, would carry immense significance for both nations, marking a new chapter in their bilateral relations.
As the leaders of these two nations continue to foster diplomatic ties, the global community watches with cautious optimism. In the realm of geopolitics, such encounters can spark significant changes, opening up new possibilities for cooperation and mutual growth.
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