Following details given to public of reconciliation deal, Turkey signs accord Tuesday; Israel’s Security Cabinet approves deal Wednesday (7-3) amidst opposition from MK’s and Defense Minister
Israel and Turkey have officially restored diplomatic ties, a reconciliation deal reached on Monday, the agreement ending six years of severed diplomatic relations.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu signed the reconciliation accord in Ankara on Tuesday morning and Israel’s Security Cabinet approved the deal on Wednesday, seven voting in favor and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett voting against the deal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim both addressed and confirmed the agreement on Monday, announcing that Turkey will appoint its ambassador to Israel (Tel Aviv) in the coming weeks. Turkey expelled its ambassador to Israel in 2011, halting all military cooperation and diplomatic relations.
Erdogan stated that Turkey will always remain committed to the Palestinian cause and opposed to “Israel’s unlawful practices in Jerusalem and in Al-Aqsa”. Erdogan reportedly updated Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the agreement and Turkey’s commitment to the Palestinians.
Yildirim stated on Monday that humanitarian aid will be delivered to the Gaza Strip this Friday, announcing “To this end, our first ship loaded with over 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid will leave for Israel’s Ashdod port on Friday,” claiming that the deal has “largely lifted” the siege on Gaza. Erdogan confirmed the humanitarian aid shipment, echoing Yildirim’s comments on the Gaza Strip stating “Therefore the embargo there is being lifted under Turkey’s leadership.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu summarized the details of the agreement in a press conference Monday following a meeting with United States Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome. During his address, he stated that “Israel has reached an agreement of strategic importance for the State of Israel, for security, for regional stability and for the Israeli economy. As Prime Minister of Israel, it is my responsibility to be concerned with its strategic interests, to take a broad and long-term view, based on an understanding of the international arena as well as of our security and economic needs, at present and in the future.” highlighting the economic and strategic advantages of restored relations with Turkey.
He stated that “the world and the Middle East are in turmoil and my policy is to create centers of stability in this unstable and stormy region,” addressing Israel’s efforts and successes in restored relations with regional players, referring to Greece, Cyprus and Russia, stating “We are doing so with our close neighbors, Arab countries. We are doing so with Greece and Cyprus. We are doing so with Russia. We are also doing so with Turkey. Of course, we are doing all of this in full coordination with our greatest ally, the United States. This is part of a clear strategy, to create centers of stability in the stormy Middle East.” “Now, Israel and Turkey are two major powers in the region and the break between us is not good for our vital interests and prevents us from cooperating in those instances, and there are more than a few, in which cooperation is warranted,” he stated.
Netanyahu “updated the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Russia and, of course, our American friends, on this development… on every aspect that we focused on in this agreement.”