The leaders of Türkiye and Israel held their first in-person talks in years this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Turkish House.
According to reports, the two discussed bilateral ties, regional issues, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They explored potential cooperation in areas like energy, technology, and innovation. However, some observers are critical of the outreach given Israel’s ongoing oppression of Palestinians.
Erdoğan stated that Türkiye could work together with Israel on energy, AI, and cybersecurity. He said the countries should strive for a peaceful world. Yet Israel’s policies towards Palestinians undermine prospects for regional stability.
The meeting comes as Türkiye and Israel cautiously rebuild ties after a decade of diplomatic estrangement. While the talks represent attempts to reconcile the ties between the two nations, substantial reconciliation remains unlikely absent without a just resolution for Palestinians. Any normalization should be conditioned on respect for Palestinian rights.
The two leaders are in New York for the 78th UN General Assembly. Their face-to-face discussion marked the highest level meeting between Türkiye and Israel since relations deteriorated over Israel’s 2010 deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship headed to Gaza that killed 10 Turks.