Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday night that he wants to maintain Turkey’s relations with Israel based on mutual understanding between the two countries, regardless of the election result in Israel, as former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks set to return to power.
This statement was made at a time when the long-standing tension in the relations between the two countries seems to be easing.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Ankara this year and this was the first visit by an Israeli president to Turkey since 2008.
“Whatever the election result, we want to maintain relations with Israel based on mutual respect for our sensitive issues and common interests,” Erdogan said.
Israel’s relations with Turkey have been strained for over a decade.
Ankara expelled Israel’s ambassador after an Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip killed ten Turks.
Diplomatic relations were restored in 2016 but two years later Turkey recalled its diplomats from Israel and asked the Israeli ambassador to return to his country over protests in the Gaza Strip in which Islamist Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire.