'Türkiye plays an important role in ensuring global stability' - M5 Dergi
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‘Türkiye plays an important role in ensuring global stability’

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Cooperation with Israel, especially in areas such as defense, security, will lead to important developments regarding regional peace, says defense minister

The development of relations between Türkiye and Israel will facilitate finding solutions to contested issues, the Turkish defense minister said on Thursday.

“We believe that increasing our bilateral cooperation and dialogue will also facilitate the resolution of some issues on which we have disagreements, particularly Palestine,” Hulusi Akar said at a news conference with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz in the capital Ankara.

Gantz’s visit to Türkiye is significant in terms of its being the first by an Israeli defense minister in over a decade.

“Türkiye and Israel are important actors in our region. At the same time, we have serious ties and common values between Türkiye and Israel, both historically and culturally.

“I would like to say that as Türkiye, the development of our relations and cooperation with Israel, especially in areas such as defense, security and energy, will lead to important developments regarding regional peace and stability, and will make significant contributions,” the Turkish defense chief said.

During the “productive meeting,” as Akar described, “we have very clearly expressed the requirements of our policy, the issues related to our policy, our opinions, evaluations, and sensitivities.”

He also said during this “very important” visit, the ministers exchanged views on what can be done to further development of stability, cooperation and security in the region.

“I hope that these talks will make significant contribution to the relations between our countries and peace in the region,” Akar said.

Türkiye and Israel have been taking steps to normalize their strained relations for the past two years, and in August, the countries agreed to restore full diplomatic ties and reappoint ambassadors and consuls general after a four-year hiatus.

– ‘Türkiye plays an important role in ensuring global stability’

Gantz, for his part, said it is no secret that the ties have faced challenges, but continued: “Yet today, I am glad to say that Türkiye is one of our top five trading partners. Over the years, our economic ties have grown.”

He said there are many areas for future collaboration, adding: “This includes pursuing diplomatic solutions to disputes in our regions – just as Israel has achieved with Lebanon this very morning.

“The maritime border agreement reflects the ability of opposing actors to cooperate for the sake of stability and economic prosperity. This agreement is an asset to the security of Israel and the region.”

He thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Akar for “crucial, life-saving cooperation” to succeed in removing a number of threats against Israeli citizens and Jewish people in Türkiye.

“I believe a lot more can be done together in order to reduce the influence of those who destabilize our regions, by supporting or conducting terrorism against innocent civilians.

“This also applies to the Palestinian arena, and I am confident that deeper defense ties between our countries may have a positive impact on developments in this arena,” Gantz said.

He hailed Türkiye for its important role in ensuring global stability. “Our ties are a positive addition, as we maintain strong partnerships with our friends in Greece, Cyprus, and the Gulf countries. In fact, we may form bridges and reduce conflicts for the benefit of all parties involved.”

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