Better relations with Turkey will strengthen stability: Israeli FM

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke of Israel’s “warming relations” with Turkey, adding that “it is a blessed chance whose time has come”.

Israeli Yair Lapid was on a trip during which he met Greek and Cypriot FMs [Dimitris Kapantais/Anadolu Agency/Getty]

Strengthening ties between Israel and Turkey will increase stability in the region, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Tuesday during a trip to Athens, according to the Turkish newspaper. Anadolu News Agency.

Lapid spoke of Israel’s “warming relations” with Turkey, adding that “it is a blessed chance whose time has come.”

“It also offers a great opportunity to deepen our ties and strengthen regional stability,” he said.

The Israeli foreign minister met his Greek and Cypriot counterparts during his visit to Athens. Turkey has had difficult relations with Greece in recent years and does not have diplomatic relations with Cyprus.

Ankara is the only nation in the world to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, formed in 1974 after Turkey invaded the island following a coup attempt by Cypriot army officers.

Stoned tweeted Tuesday that he had “met a true friend of Israel”, in reference to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“Greece and Israel are part of an important regional strategic alliance,” he added.

“We agreed to deepen and strengthen the security and economic ties between our countries, and to continue to work in close cooperation.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month that a visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Turkey “marked a new turning point”.

The Turkish leader said relations between his country and Israel were crucial for stability in the region, adding that Turkey and Israel would collaborate on “energy and energy security” programs.

The two men spoke again by telephone on April 1 about their countries’ relations and regional affairs.

Sharon P. Juarez