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February 17, 2022 5:21 pm
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Erdogan Adviser in Jerusalem to Talk Israel-Turkey Relations Ahead of Herzog Visit

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

A Turkish delegation, led by Senior Adviser to the Turkish President İbrahim Kalın and Deputy Foreign Minister Sadat Onal, meet with Israeli officials on Feb. 17, 2022.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s top foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin and Deputy Foreign Minister Sadat Onal met on Thursday with Israeli officials in Jerusalem to mend strained bilateral ties between the two countries and discuss regional tensions.

“Turkey and Israel have broad influence in the region, and both have agreed that the rehabilitation of relations can contribute to regional stability,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the President’s Office said in a joint statement.

The Turkish delegation held meetings with Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz and CEO of the President’s Office Eyal Shviki and their teams, at both the President’s Residence and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

The delegation also discussed preparations for the planned visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Turkey, set for March 9-10, according to Turkish media. During the visit, Herzog is expected to talk about energy cooperation between Turkey and Israel, as well as bringing Israeli natural gas to Europe.

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During the meeting at the President’s Residence, Herzog entered the conference room and welcomed the guests from Turkey.

The senior delegation from Ankara arrived in Israel for a two-day trip after Ushpiz’s visit to Turkey in December 2021, during which discussions began about the President’s trip — which would mark the first such visit in many years.

The Turkish officials also met with Palestinian officials including President Mahmoud Abbas.

“We discussed Herzog’s visit to Turkey and the next steps to be taken for regional peace and stability,” Kalin tweeted, posting pictures from his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials as well as Abbas.

Earlier this month, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu emphasized that Ankara would not abandon support for a Palestinian state in order to advance closer ties with Israel.

“Any step we take with Israel regarding our relations, any normalization, will not be at the expense of the Palestinian cause, like some other countries,” Cavusoglu said.

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