Photo: Reuters
Erdogan with President Katsav
Photo: Reuters

Israel,Turkey to share intelligence

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,Turkish counterpart meet in Jerusalem, agree to establish 'red phone line' between offices

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to establish a joint anti-terror operation by establishing a red phone line connecting their offices.


"Turkey has withstood terror attacks more than once, and I understand Turkey's position that it will not compromise with terror," Sharon said.


Sunday's was the first top-level meeting between Israel and Turkey since the beginning of the Intifada in September, 2000.


Significant visit


Erdogan's visit bears great significance because of the history of the relations between both countries. In the past, Erdogan has been outspoken in voicing his negative opinions regarding Israel's policy in the territories.


One of his most infamous quotes is that Israel is responsible for rising of anti-Semitism in the world.


Direct line


Sharon said the idea to establish a direct line between Jerusalem and Ankara is based on similar, existing direct lines between Sharon and the offices of the leaders of Britain, Russia and the European Union.


"We learned from our experience that even when intelligence ties are tight, there is great significance to the connection between the heads of state, in order to make sure that there are specific updates on the highest levels," Sharon said.


'There is a dialogue between our people'


"I want to express my satisfaction. We put together a loaded program. We had a conversation about the bilateral relations in the fields of economy, military and other fields," Erdogan said.



"In the midst of 2004, the trade balance of our countries was USD 2 billion and we expressed our will to increase this amount. 300,000 Israelis visited our country last year; it is clear there is a dialogue between our people," he added.


Erdogan also talked about the research and development agreement he signed between the two countries. He expressed the importance of the agreement, which is "an important and new step in the framework of bilateral relations," he said.


Erdogan also referred to his intention to talk to the Palestinians. "We preserve our will and determination to promote these relations even further. At this sensitive time, the need for peace is all the more clearer."


Objecting Iran nuclear ability 


He also discussed Turkey's attitude towards anti-Semitism, saying the country treats anti-Semitism "like a crime against humanity, we will persist our struggle against it."


Later in the day Erdogan also met with President Moshe Katsav. At the end of the meeting, Erdogan the developing Iranian nuclear ability can potentially pose a threat on the area.


"We, members of the Turkish people, object any weapons that threaten mankind. Turkey is always a guarantee for peace in the area and will continue to be the same in the future," he said. 


פרסום ראשון: 05.01.05, 23:33
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Israel,Turkey to share intelligence"
This will delete your current comment