Erdogan and Herzog
Erdogan and HerzogYoni Kempinski

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Israeli reporters in a briefing on Wednesday that Turkey is interested in improving relations with Israel, but will not remain silent when international law is violated vis-à-vis the Palestinians.

"We expect Israel to respect international law on the Palestinian issue so that relations between us remain stable," Cavusoglu said.

"President Erdogan supports a two-state solution. Since 1949, relations between Israel and Turkey have known ups and downs only because of the Palestinian issue," he added.

The Turkish minister condemned the wave of terrorist attacks in Israel during the briefing, but at the same time also said that Israel killed an innocent Palestinian woman this week and also condemned this act.

He added that he would come with his country's energy minister to visit Israel next month, in order to promote cooperation on the issue of natural gas transmission.

The Turkish minister expressed hope that Israeli tourists would return to visit Turkey in large numbers as they had in the past.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been pushing to improve the strained relations between his country and Israel. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on the phone with Cavusoglu in January, the first public telephone conversation between an Israeli foreign minister and a Turkish foreign minister in 13 years.

Turkey and Israel 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 after the deal was signed, however, Erdogan continued to verbally attack Israel. Several months ago, however, President Isaac Herzog and Erdogan held a lengthy conversation shortly after Herzog took office.

Herzog recently visited Turkey, where he was received with an honor guard by Erdogan. Herzog thus became the first Israeli leader to visit Turkey since 2008.