Rapprochement Can Help Joint Fight Against Terror, Israel Tells Turkey

Netanyahu condemns terror attack, which came hours after Israel and Turkey formally announced full renewal of diplomatic ties; Erdogan and Obama talk.

People stand outside the entrance as they leave the airport after two explosions hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016.
Ozan Kose, AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Tuesday's terror attack that struck Istanbul, killing 41 people and injuring more than 200, only hours after Israel and Ankara announced a formal diplomatic reconciliation between the two countries.

"Israel condemns the terror attack on Istanbul," Netanyahu said in a statement, adding: "All the culutured nations must stand together to fight terror."

Meanwhile, Israel's President Rivlin told his Turkish counterpart that their countries' new reconciliation pact will help with joint efforts to combat attacks like the one at Istanbul airport.

In a condolence letter, Rivlin told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Israel is willing to help Turkey to recover from the attack, and to work together to thwart future attacks.

"I take this opportunity to welcome the chance to renew our good relationship especially because our strengthened dialogue will greatly aid in our joint efforts against this threat, and because it sends a strong message to the terrorists that we will stand united against hatred," Rivlin said in the letter.

Israel and Turkey have agreed to restore full diplomatic relations after six years of animosity between the once-close allies.

Afterwards, Erdogan spoke on the phone with U.S. President Barack Obama, who said he strongly condemned Tuesday's suicide bomb attack, Turkish presidential sources said.

Obama offered his condolences to the people of Turkey after the attack on Europe's third-busiest airport, the latest in a series of suicide bombings this year in Turkey. The NATO member forms part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, which is suspected of perpetrating the attack.