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Turkey and Israel will restore full diplomatic relations

Turkey and Israel will restore full diplomatic relations

Israel and Turkey will restore full diplomatic relations and send their ambassadors to the respective countries for the first time in years.

This is what the acting Prime Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid, declared on August 17.

"The restoration of relations with Turkey is an important asset for regional stability and a very important economic news for the citizens of Israel," he said through an official statement.

The decision comes after Lapid visited Ankara in June, where he held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the statement said.

Once close allies, Turkey and Israel soured relations in 2010 after ten Turkish citizens were killed when the Israeli navy attacked a ship carrying aid to Gaza.

The two countries had an improvement in relations in 2016, but since 2018, when there was a dispute over the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, the two countries have not had an ambassador in each other's capitals.

Turkey does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its embassy is located in Tel Aviv.

"We have also decided to appoint our ambassador to Israel, Tel Aviv," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a press conference in Ankara on August 17.

He said that this decision is "a positive step".

But Cavusoglu said that Turkey will continue to defend the Palestinian cause.

"As we have always said, we will continue to defend the rights of the Palestinians," he said.

Palestinians want their future state to be established in territories Israel took in the Middle East war in 1967. Talks to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have stalled since 2014.

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