Turkey and Israel will re-appoint their respective ambassadors more than four years after they were called back, both countries said on Wednesday, making for a breakthrough after months of steady improvement in relations.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office said on Wednesday the two countries decided to restore full diplomatic ties.
“It was decided to once again upgrade the level of the relations between the two countries to that of full diplomatic ties and to return ambassadors and consuls general,” the Israeli PM’s office said in a statement following a conversation between him and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
“Upgrading relations will contribute to deepening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade, and cultural ties, and strengthening regional stability,” it added.
The two regional powers expelled their ambassadors in 2018 after 60 Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli forces, during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
However, they have been since working to mend their long-strained ties with the issue of energy emerging as a key area for potential cooperation.
The move, which comes as Israel seeks to improve ties with regional powers, was agreed upon two years after the so-called Abraham Accords which saw relations normalised between Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.
A visit to Turkey by Israeli President Isaac Herzog in March, followed by visits by both foreign ministers, helped in warming relations after more than a decade of tensions.
The Abraham Accords are a monumental step in creating more opportunities for establishing peace, prosperity, and stability in the Middle East. This is U.S. policy on the Abraham Accords explained. pic.twitter.com/jbRsJYN9Zi— Department of State (@StateDept) December 31, 2020