Report: Azerbaijan trying to mediate between Israel and Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly open to idea of improving relations with Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Reuters

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev is trying to mend relations between Israel and Turkey, senior Israeli officials told Barak Ravid of Axios on Wednesday.

According to the officials, Aliyev raised the Israel-Turkey tensions in a recent call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Aliyev's advisers told their Israeli counterparts that Erdogan responded positively to the idea of improving relations, reported Erdogan.

While the Turkish President has a history of bellicose comments on Israel, Aliyev's advisers claimed that he is not anti-Israel, but rather had been incited against Israel by aides who no longer advise him.

Azeri Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said on a recent call with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, that Azerbaijan thinks it is a good time for Israel and Turkey to mend fences, according to Ravid.

While Israel and Turkey have diplomatic relations, those relations have been strained in recent years as Erdogan, who is a strong advocate of Palestinian Arab rights, has frequently criticized Israel.

The two countries signed a comprehensive reconciliation deal in 2016, ending a six-year diplomatic standoff following a violent encounter between Israeli soldiers and Islamist radicals on a ship attempting to break through the security blockade on Gaza.

Even since the signing of that agreement, the Islamist Turkish President has continued his verbal attacks on Israel.

In the past, Erdogan has accused Israel of being a “terrorist state”, and called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a “terrorist”, after IDF forces opened fire on infiltrators during a Hamas-led confrontation on the Israel-Gaza border.

Last year, Erdogan condemned Netanyahu’s affirmation of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people as “blatant racism”.

He also stated that his country will oppose anyone who supports Israel and that Turkey will continue to promote the Palestinian cause regardless of efforts to undermine it mainly by supporters of the Israeli regime.



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