Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz relaunches defence attaches with Turkey

Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz relaunches defence attaches with Turkey

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has proclaimed a new era in security attaches with Turkey as the two nations look to retouch a relationship that had been broken for a decade.

Gantz talked on Thursday during a one-day trip to the strong NATO member and two months after Israel and Turkey reestablished their diplomatic ties.

“For over a decade, there were no formal security ties,” Gantz said after meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Defence Minister Hulusi Akar in Ankara. “Today we’re changing that in a responsible and gradual process that serves Israel’s interests.”

In 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim-majority country to perceive Israel. Be that as it may, reciprocal relations started to fray in 2008 after an Israeli military activity in Gaza.

Ties then, at that point, froze in 2010 after the deaths of 10 regular citizens following an Israeli strike on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, part of a flotilla attempting to penetrate an Israeli blockade and carry help to Gaza.

A brief reconciliation lasted from 2016 until 2018 when Turkey pulled out its ambassador and removed Israel’s over the killing of Palestinians during a contention with Gaza. Relations started to defrost after the takeoff of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog paid a state visit to Turkey in March, followed by Prime Minister Yair Lapid in June. Lapid was foreign minister at the time.

After months of warming ties, Israel and Turkey reported on August 17 the full rebuilding of relations and the return of ambassadors to the two nations.

‘Find solutions’

Akar said nearer ties would help “find solutions to some current topics we think differently” about, including Palestine.

“We believe that the development of our relations and cooperation with Israel will also contribute to regional peace and stability,” the defence minister said.

Tending to the presence of the Palestinian movement on Turkish soil, Gantz said “the issue came up in our talks” and Israel was continually engaged with Turkish security associations.

“This is the first strategic security meeting after many years,” he said. “You can’t take too big a bite out of what you bring into one meeting.”

Gantz said he believes “a lot more can be done together to reduce the influence of those who destabilise our regions by supporting or conducting terrorism against innocent civilians”.

“This also applies to the Palestinian arena,” the Israeli minister said.

Strategic interests

Turkey and Israel were once close defence partners. Pacts signed in during the 1990s permitted Israeli flying corps pilots to prepare over Turkey’s airspace. Israel updated Turkish military tanks and jets and provided drones and other high-tech equipment.

Israel recently said thanks to Turkey for intelligence cooperation against Iranian attempts to do assaults in Turkey.

“This year, as a result of close, covert contact, we succeeded in removing an alarming number of threats against Israeli citizens and Jewish people in Turkey,” Gantz said. “We are thankful to President Erdogan, Minister Akar and the security agencies involved in this crucial, life-saving cooperation.”

Gantz visited less than a week before a general election in Israel, the fifth in under four years. Gantz is looking to keep his centrist National Unity faction a central player in a future coalition.

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