Regional security problem binds Israel and Turkey

Turkey sees regional security concerns as a main factor in the prospect to normalize ties with Israel, Turkish Foreign Ministry official Mesut Ozcan said Friday.

As a detente between Ankara and Jerusalem is soon expected to come to fruition, Ozcan met with Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova at an event with Israel and Turkish representatives in Istanbul on Friday.

“A serious security problem occurred in the Middle East after the so-called Arab Spring,” Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency quoted Ozcan as saying. “We see that what binds Israel and Turkey is this security problem.”

He also underlined that the over five-year conflict in Syria has posed threats to both Turkey and Israel.

“Therefore, taking joint action on security issues will be on the agenda,” he added in reference to Israel and Turkey’s expected signing of an agreement to restore diplomacy early next week.

On Wednesday, Svetlova told The Jerusalem Post that “it has been a long time since an MK appeared officially and publicly in Turkey.”

Svetlova said she was happy that the positive atmosphere allowed for such a meeting to take place in Turkey, and speculated that a deal on repaired relations between the two countries could come early next week.

The event was the latest in a series since 2012 between the Ramat Gan-based Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies and the Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) at Istanbul Kültür University, and supported by Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Israel’s security cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to approve a rapprochement agreement with Turkey that is expected to be finalized on Sunday, according to senior government officials.

Approving the agreement would put an end to the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, and lead to the normalization of ties between the two countries.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who before taking over his position last month was firmly opposed to an agreement with Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is not expected to oppose the arrangement.

Neither Ankara nor Jerusalem is expected to have all its demands met.

Authors: Ariel Ben Solomon and  Herb Keinon


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