Israel, Turkey Sign Bilateral Aviation Agreement in First Since 1951

'The agreement is expected to result in the resumption of flights by Israeli companies to a variety of destinations in Turkey, alongside flights by Turkish companies to Israel,' Israeli Transportation Ministry says

Reuters
Reuters
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Turkish Airlines flight departing from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, in 2018.
Turkish Airlines flight departing from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, in 2018.Credit: Moti Milrod
Reuters
Reuters

Israel and Turkey signed a bilateral aviation agreement on Thursday, paving the way for Israeli carriers to fly to various Turkish destinations, a statement by the Israeli Transportation Ministry said.

According to the ministry, the agreement is the first to be signed between the two countries since 1951.

"The agreement is expected to result in the resumption of flights by Israeli companies to a variety of destinations in Turkey, alongside flights by Turkish companies to Israel," the ministry said in a statement.

Turkey continues to be one of the most popular destinations for Israeli tourists despite security threats. Last month, the Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning calling on Israeli citizens to avoid travel to Istanbul, following reports of an Iranian plot to carry out an attack against Israeli and Jewish targets.

The Israeli travel warning was later downgraded following the arrest of multiple Iranian operatives by the Turkish authorities.

Turkish and Israeli officials have met over the past few months on several occasions, including Yair Lapid's visit to Ankara last month, before he was officially sworn in as Prime Minister, where he met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Among other issues, the two spoke about expanding bilateral relations, and one of the ways of doing so is through the expansion of flights between the countries.

Heads of both countries' civil aviation authorities signed the preliminary agreement today, paving the way towards signing the full agreement later this year.

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