Talks are ongoing between office of Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office for Herzog to visit, The Jerusalem Post quoted an Israeli source as saying.
If confirmed, Herzog could be the first Israeli president to visit Turkey since Shimon Peres in 2007.
Meanwhile, the Israeli source emphasized that improvements relations between the two sides will not come at the expense of Tel Aviv’s alliance with Greece and Cyprus, which are Turkey’s historic adversaries.
Natural gas exploration and development, an area in which Israel works with Greece and Cyprus, has been a source of friction between the latter countries and Turkey.
Erdogan mentioned in a press conference on Tuesday that he may meet with Herzog, and said that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is “sending messages at different levels.”
“If we are going to do politics, it can’t be done through confrontation. We have to pursue politics along the path of peace,” he said, adding that he recently met with members of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States.
Herzog’s office declined to comment on the matter.
Erdogan and Herzog have spoken on the phone three times since the latter entered office last year; first, to congratulate the Israeli president on his new post, then, after an Israeli couple was released from Turkish prison, and last week, after Herzog’s mother died, which came in addition to a condolence letter.
Last month, Erdogan said the two sides can exchange ambassadors again if Tel Aviv changes course in areas Turkey views as red flags, specifically Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Source: Israeli media