Israel's President Herzog, Turkey's Erdogan Discuss Palestinian Conflict, Promoting Ties

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Israeli President Isaac Herzog, last week.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog, last week. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke on the phone Monday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as promoting ties between both countries, according to Turkey's state-owned news agency.

Herzog and Erdogan also discussed regional cooperation in the fields of technology and tourism. This marks Herzog third diplomatic conversation in recent days, following calls by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  

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"The presidents attach great importance to the continuation of contacts and constant dialogue despite all the disagreements, and that's with the aim of advancing essential steps towards a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which would also contribute towards improving the countries' relations," Herzog's office said in a statement.

The conversation between Herzog and Erdogan lasted for 40 minutes and was "very positive," the statement added. 

The relations between Turkey and Israel have been at a low point in recent years. Erdogan has tried repeatedly to position himself as the defender of the Palestinians in the region and has gone on major offensives against Israel's conduct nearly every time Israel has been in conflict with the Palestinians.

In May, in the midst of the recent round of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Erdogan tweeted in Hebrew: "We strongly condemn Israel's abhorrent attacks against our first Qibla, the Al-Aqsa Mosque," using a term referring to the direction of Muslim prayer, "which unfortunately has been occurring during the entire month of Ramadan. As Turkey, we will continue to stand with our Palestinian brothers and sisters under all circumstances."

A diplomatic source said several days ago that Israel was having difficulty anticipating Erdogan's conduct towards it, adding that his conduct is influenced by Turkey's other interests in the region.

On Saturday, Herzog spoke with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and the two agreed advance cooperation between the countries, in a sign of rapprochement following two high-level meetings over the past days. 

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