Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met on Wednesday with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Jerusalem as two countries attempt to normalize ties after years of diplomatic tensions.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Cavusoglu said that "working on a positive agenda can also help us to address our disagreements in a more constructive manner." Communications between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Israeli counterpart helped calm tensions between Israel and the Palestinians in Jerusalem during Ramadan, he added.
Lapid said that the two countries "have always known how to return to dialogue and cooperation."
The foreign minister also spoke of Turkey's long historic relations with the Jewish people, beginning with the biblical father of the Nation Abraham - believed to have originated from Turkey.
"Nations with long histories always know how to close one chapter and open a new one. That is what we are doing here today," he said. "This could mean all Jews could apply for Turkish passports," he joked.
"The goal is to form and expand economic and civil cooperation between our countries to create business to business and people to people and to leverage our two countries, comparative advantages regionally and globally, even during the pandemic, and even in times of political tension," he said.
Cavusoglu said that the normalization of ties between Turkey and Israel will have a "positive impact" for a "peaceful" resolution to the Palestinian conflict.
In a news conference after his meeting with Lapid, Cavusoglu said the two countries agreed to "re-energize" relations in many areas, including resuming talks on civil aviation.
The Turkish minister will on Wednesday visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum and later tour the Old City of Jerusalem and visit the Al Aqsa Mosque, a sight of increased Israeli Palestinian tension.
Turkey and Israel were close allies, but relations grew tense under Erdogan, who is a vocal critic of Israel's alleged mistreatment of the Palestinians.
The countries withdrew their ambassadors in 2010 after Israeli forces stormed a Gaza-bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians that refused to turn away after entering the Gaza waters illegally. The incident resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish activists and injuries to IDF soldiers.
Turkey recalled its ambassador in 2018 after the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem, prompting Israel to respond in kind. The two countries have not reappointed their ambassadors.