President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog departed Wednesday morning for a state visit to the Republic of Turkey at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

President Herzog will be the first Israeli leader to visit Turkey since 2008. The last visit by an Israeli president to Turkey took place in 2007.

“Hello, everybody. Together with my wife Michal, I am embarking on a state visit to Turkey at the invitation of President Erdoğan, with whom I have been in dialogue since I entered the Presidency," Herzog said on the tarmac.

“Israel-Turkey relations are important for Israel, important for Turkey, and important for the whole region. And for the first time in many years, there will be a visit to Turkey."

“Certainly at a time when the international order is being shaken, it is good and proper that stability and partnership be maintained in our region, and I emphasized this point during my visits to Greece and Cyprus in recent weeks and in my conversations with leaders."

“We will not agree on everything, and the relationship between Israel and Turkey has certainly known ups and downs and not-so-simple moments in recent years, but we shall try to restart our relations and build them in a measured and cautious manner, and with mutual respect between our states."

“I always emphasize that my vision is that Jews, Muslims, and Christians will live in peace in our region in a manner that will bring them prosperity and perfect lives."

“My visit is completely coordinated with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and their offices, and I hope that in the wake of my visit, a serious process will begin with Turkey, an in-depth dialogue at various levels, and that ultimately we will see, so I hope, progress in our relations and positive results. Thank you very much, everyone.”

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