Israeli, Turkish Presidents Share Holiday Greetings on Eid al-Fitr, Independence Day

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog talk during a welcoming ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, March 9, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

Israeli President Isaac Herzog shared holiday blessings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in honor of Eid al-Fitr in a Monday phone call, amid a continued thawing of ties between the Mediterranean nations.

Herzog, according to his office, also thanked Erdogan for sending a greeting ahead of the Jewish state’s upcoming 74th Independence Day, which begins Wednesday evening.

The missive from the Turkish leader, a copy of which was released by Herzog’s office, referred to the Israeli president’s visit to Ankara in March as the beginning of a new period of bilateral relations. In this era, Erdogan expressed, “I sincerely believe that cooperation between our countries will develop in a way that serves our shared national interests, as well as regional peace and stability.” He also extended wishes of “wellbeing and prosperity for the people of Israel.”

During their Monday call, the two leaders “discussed the importance of an open and continuous dialogue to preserve regional calm and stability, especially in current days,” according to Herzog’s office.

The exchange was the second that took place in the past two weeks between the leaders, who spoke on April 19 about tensions surrounding Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

While relations have remained frosty for years between Ankara and Jerusalem, Herzog’s visit to Turkey earlier this year signaled a strategic shift. “Bridges and ties with Turkey are an Israeli and regional interest,” the Israeli president said at the time. “Unfortunately, relations between our countries have experienced something of a drought in recent years.”

“Now, I believe that the relationship between our countries will be judged by deeds reflecting a spirit of mutual respect and will enable us to better confront the regional and global challenges that are common to us all,” he added.

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