Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country supports the recent attempts to normalize ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Middle East Eye reports.
According to the report, Erdogan made the comments during a closed-door briefing with analysts and journalists in New York on Monday.
"Turkey views the normalization attempts between the two countries positively," the Turkish President was quoted as having said in response to a question, according to two sources who were present at the meeting.
A Turkish source familiar with Ankara’s thinking told MEE that Turkey is in favor of decreasing tensions in the region.
"Turkey’s current support to normalization is just a continuation and reflection of this general policy," the source said. "The normalization could become a political leverage to push Israel to act smarter in the region."
Erdogan met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The Prime Minister’s office said after the meeting that the two leaders discussed, among other things, the normalization efforts between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
A recent report indicated that the United States and Saudi Arabia have agreed on the broad outlines of a deal for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel in exchange for concessions to the Palestinian Arabs.
As part of the process, The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia is offering to resume financial support to the Palestinian Authority which it had frozen in 2021.
Later, however, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that while US, Israeli and Saudi leaders have put many of the elements of a pathway to normalization on the table, there is still much work to do.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that normalization “cannot be a substitute for Israel and the Palestinians resolving their differences and having a much better future for Palestinians. And in our judgment, of course, that must – needs to involve a two-state solution.”
He also added that “it’s also clear from what we hear from the Saudis that if this process is to move forward, the Palestinian piece is going to be very important, too.”