The appointment of an Israeli ambassador to Turkey is expected ‘within weeks’

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Israel’s charge d’affaires in Turkey said today that the reappointment of an ambassador in Ankara could take place within weeks, while reiterating Israel’s expectation to close the office of Hamas in Istanbul.

As reported by Reuters, in a round table meeting with journalists, Israel’s current top representative in Ankara, Irit Lilian, said that the process of reappointing an ambassador to Turkey is only a matter of “when and not if.”

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“It is only because of the elections in Israel that things may be delayed on the Israeli side, but I hope it will be done in time and it will only be a few more weeks before the process will be over,” said Lilian.

Israel will hold general elections on November 1st.

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Earlier this month, Turkey and Israel agreed to reappoint their respective ambassadors, more than four years after recalling them, marking another milestone after months of improved relations.

The two regional powers had expelled the ambassadors in 2018 over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

But they are working to restore their long-strained ties, with energy emerging as a key area of ​​potential cooperation.

Lilian reiterated the challenges in relations, saying the biggest obstacle to the “positive trend seen throughout the year” was the existence of a Hamas office in Istanbul.

“There are many challenges, but from our point of view, one of the main obstacles is the office of Hamas in Istanbul,” he said.

“Hamas is a terrorist organization and it is no secret that Israel expects Turkey to close this office and send the activists there away from here,” Lilian added.

A visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Turkey in March, followed by visits by both foreign ministers, helped rewarm relations after more than a decade of tensions.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke by phone earlier this month, expressing satisfaction at the progress in relations and congratulating each other on the decision to appoint ambassadors.

Erdogan said the necessary steps to appoint the ambassador would be taken as soon as possible, while Lapid said strengthening ties would lead to achievements in trade and tourism.

Source: Capital

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