Erdogan and Herzog
Erdogan and HerzogChaim Tzach/GPO

Before his return to Israel, President Isaac Herzog summed up his diplomatic visit to Turkey at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"My visit to Turkey hosted by President Erdogan was important, with important symbolic and emotional charges for the history of the countries and peoples. This common history has known ups and downs and in recent years has suffered from challenges and difficult moments," Herzog began.

He added, "I entered this process soberly in full coordination with all government ministries and other parties. This process will be examined over several months including in the case of the release of the Oknin couple."

On the meeting with Erdogan, he said: "The host was open to a real dialogue on many and varied issues and we got down to the details on issues that are important to both sides. Many of the issues which are of operational significance will be transferred to the Israeli government" for continued discussions.

Herzog added, "We also talked about establishing a mechanism to prevent crises that could happen. The whole process is free of illusions, but reflects our common interests."

"Turkey has always been recognized as an important country, it is the first Muslim country to recognize Israel. I told Erdogan that Ben-Gurion and Ben-Zvi were university graduates in Istanbul. There are a lot of non-political issues in the field such as trade and other areas. "I hope that an infrastructure has been laid for the development of the [Israel-Turkey] relationship," the president noted.

He talked about the worldview that guides him in connection with the Turks. "I think of a ten-year-old boy who sees a picture of the President of Israel on a website with a Muslim leader or a leader with a keffiyeh - and it sends a message of hope - and an alternative to anyone who thinks confrontation and violence will bring results. I hope I contribute in this way. We do not forget the past, obviously, but we think about the future."

An official in the entourage of President Isaac Herzog to Turkey said Thursday morning that the very existence of the President's summit with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is significant.

The official said that the success of the summit "will be examined in deeds and now the it's is in the government's court."

According to the source, the entire visit was coordinated Prime Minister Naftalli Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. "There were a lot of discussions, including in the National Security Council, whether to go for the move - and the opinion that said 'let's give this move a chance' won out."