By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA) – The European Union on Thursday hailed the recent Turkish-Israeli rapprochement.
“I welcome the announcement between Turkey and Israel to restore full diplomatic ties,” EU commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Oliver Varhelyi said on Twitter.
The remarks came after Türkiye and Isreal announced on Wednesday that they will resume diplomatic relations and mutually reappoint ambassadors and consuls.
Varhelyi called the agreement “another milestone strengthening bilateral relations, stabilizing the region and fostering prosperity.”
“The EU is ready to support establishing new grounds of cooperation,” he added.
In his speech announcing the restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Türkiye will “continue to defend the rights of Palestine, Jerusalem, and Gaza, and it is important that our messages are conveyed directly to Tel Aviv at the ambassador level.”
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone talk with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.
Erdogan said he supports the development of cooperation and dialogue between the two countries built on a sustainable basis and respect for mutual sensitivities.
He also expressed his satisfaction with the progress achieved in relations under a framework agreed on during recent visits to Türkiye by Lapid and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Herzog's visit to Türkiye in March, followed by reciprocal visits by both countries' foreign ministers, contributed to easing relations after more than a decade of tensions.
* Ahmet Gencturk contributed to this report from Ankara.