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Israel-Turkey relations could be on the brink of full normalization: Reports

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Strained relations between Israel and Turkey could be reversed with diplomatic ties potentially normalized by March, said Turkey’s presidential adviser on foreign affairs in a media report.

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The two countries’ defense and energy industries would benefit from a deal, Voice of America cited Mesut Casin as saying in a report published on Monday.

“Turkey bought a lot of weapons from Israel. We can arrange this again. Turkey and Israel’s defense industries can go ahead together,” he said.

“Secondly, energy resources. They [Israel] discover oil and gas. Okay, Israel is 8 million people. Where can they sell this oil and gas? The biggest market is Turkey, and Turkey will be via a pipeline, the corridor to the European Union market.”

Turkey and Israel once enjoyed close relations, but the relationship has been strained by events including Israel’s 2010 raid of the Gaza-bound Mavi Mavara aid vessel in which nine Turkish nationals were killed.

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More recently, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan publicly opposed the United Arab Emirates’ historic Abraham Accords deal, in which it became the first Gulf nation to normalize ties with Israel. Erdogan threatened to withdraw its ambassador from the United Arab Emirates over the move.

Several key areas of dispute will likely have to be addressed before relations are restored.

Erdogan, for example, opposes Israel’s push to have Jerusalem internationally recognized as its capital.

Turkey also supports groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, which are considered terrorists by Israel.

With Reuters