Photo: Reuters, MCT
Erdogan and Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters, MCT

Israel and Turkey conduct secret talks

Following expulsion of Israeli ambassador in Ankara four months ago, the two countries are reportedly in negotiations over possible normalization of diplomatic ties; Defense Minister Lieberman and President Erdogan visit capital of Azerbaijan at same time.

Four months after Israel's Ambassador to Ankara Eitan Na'eh, was expelled from Turkey following the death of 61 Palestinian protesters during "March of Return" riots, the two countries are conducting secret talks in order to normalize relations.



According to Israeli and Turkish officials, if there will not be another last-minute crisis, the two countries are expected to return their respective ambassadors after the Jewish holidays.


In addition, the Israeli Foreign Ministry recently published a tender for the appointment of a new Israeli ambassador to Turkey for the summer of 2019.


 (Photo: Reuters, MCT)
(Photo: Reuters, MCT)


According to a Yedioth Ahronoth report, Turkey sent an economic attaché to Israel for the first time in years. The attaché is already active in promoting economic relations between the two countries.


Several factors are behind the resumption of talks between Israel and Turkey—the end of the Syrian civil war, Syria's President Bashar Assad who is a common enemy, and Iran's entrenchment in Syria.


Sources who follow the Turkish media say the country has surprisingly refrained from condemning Israel for the recent air strikes attributed to the IDF in Syria.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—who is at odds with the US administration and is dealing with an economic crisis which led to a drop in the Turkish currency—believes it is not a good time for an additional diplomatic confrontation to develop further.


According to a Plate Radar report, an Israeli and a Turkish governmental planes took off simultaneously at 9am on Sunday from Ben Gurion International Airport to the United Arab Emirates, making a short, midway stop in Oman.


The planes landed in Abu Dhabi at 2:30pm and took off again this morning.


The purpose of the flights is not yet clear.


Also, both President Erdogan and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman spent the weekend in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and almost ran into each other.


Lieberman was invited to visit the Muslim state and held talks with President Ilham Aliyev and a number of senior officials in the country, which maintains extensive security ties with Israel.


Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Avihu Shapira)


According to foreign reports, Azerbaijan is one of the main purchasers of Israeli weapons.


The local media reported that Lieberman and his hosts discussed strengthening the security ties between the two countries, the continuation of regional cooperation, and a threat posed by the Iranian regime.


Erdogan landed on Saturday in Baku in order to participate in a military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Azerbaijan from the Armenian-Bolshevik occupation.


Diplomatic sources stress that the visits of the two officials were a coincidence and no attempts were made by the Azerbaijanis to try and mediate between the sides.


It was reported that the closest Lieberman got to the Turkish president was seeing Erdogan’s envoy return from the parade through his hotel window.



פרסום ראשון: 09.17.18, 17:31
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