Turkey and Israel to swap ambassadors shortly

Turkey's Foreign Minister says his country and Israel will begin the process of swapping ambassadors "in the coming days".

Elad Benari,

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
Reuters

Israel and Turkey will begin the process of swapping ambassadors "in the coming days," Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara with his Hungarian counterpart and quoted by i24news, Cavusoglu responded to a question asking if Turkey had selected its ambassador to Israel.

"Not yet," He replied. "In the coming days it will be decided who will be appointed ambassador."

His comments come several days after the Turkish parliament approved the deal to normalize ties with Israel.

Under the deal, Israel will pay Turkey $20 million in compensation for the deaths of 10 pro-Hamas Turkish assailants who attacked Israeli soldiers during a raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship in 2010.

Israeli cabinet ministers approved the deal with Turkey in late June but Ankara did not send it to parliament because of time pressure following the July 15 attempted putsch by a rogue military faction.

Cavusoglu’s comments also follow some tensions between Turkey and Israel on Monday, a day after Israel launched several airstrikes on Hamas targets in Gaza in retaliation for a rocket attack on Sderot.

Turkey responded angrily to the airstrikes, saying, "Normalization of relations with Israel does not mean that we will be silent in the face of attacks against the Palestinian nation.”

"We will continue to be ardent supporters of the Palestinian cause," Turkey added. "We will continue to defend the Palestinians in the face of Israeli attack, which is against international law and human conscience.”

Israel, for its part, replied to the condemnation and said, "Normalization of relations with Turkey does not mean that we will be silent in the face of outrageous condemnations against us. We will continue to defend the innocent citizens of Israel from every rocket launched into our territory, in accordance with international law, and in accordance with our responsibility and conscience."

The statement added that "Turkey had best think twice before it criticizes the military activity of other countries."




top