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Visiting Israel, Turkish foreign minister rehabilitates bilateral ties

After two years of Turkish courtship, and with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu now on a historic visit to Israel, Jerusalem is willing to rehabilitate bilateral relations.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (R) in joint statements with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L).

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited this afternoon Jerusalem’s Old City and the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount. His visit there was described as private, and he was not accompanied by any Israeli officials. Yesterday, sources at the Foreign Ministry said Israel is committed to freedom of religion and thus has no objection to a Muslim minister visiting Al-Aqsa. This evening, Cavusoglu met with the members of the Turkey-Israel Business Council and the Turkish Union in Israel association.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid met mid-morning with Cavusoglu at the ministry in Jerusalem. The two ministers then addressed the press. Lapid said that “Israel and Turkey are two regional powers, and more than that, two nations with a long, ancient and shared history. … We won’t pretend that our relationship has not seen its ups and downs. But we remember that Turkey was the first Muslim nation to recognize Israel back in 1949. And we have always known how to return to dialogue and cooperation.”

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