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Turkey wants better ties with Israel, but has ‘issues with people at the top level’ – Erdogan

Turkey wants better ties with Israel, but has ‘issues with people at the top level’ – Erdogan
Ankara is seeking to have better relations with Tel Aviv, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip has said, while also criticizing Israel’s top leadership and condemning its “merciless acts” towards Palestinians.

‘We would like to bring our ties to a better point,” Erdogan said, but yet again criticized Israel’s policies towards Palestine.

“The Palestine policy is our red line. It is impossible for us to accept Israel’s Palestine policies. Their merciless acts there are unacceptable,” Erdogan said. Ankara has been vocally opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its annexation plans and illegal settlement policy, as well as its alleged human rights violations in the Palestinian territories.

“The main problem right now is about individuals at the top. If there were no issues at the top level, our ties could have been very different,” Erdogan told reporters on Friday.

While Turkey and Israel enjoy strong economic ties, their political relationship has been gradually worsening over the past few years. The two countries even opted to expel each other’s ambassadors back in 2018. Turkey’s rejection of the US-sponsored “deal of the century” peace plan for Palestine, and its harsh criticism of the recent normalization of ties between Israel and some Arab nations have further dented relations.

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Despite the sour top-level relations, the two nations still continue to cooperate in other fields. “Our relations with Israel are not cut off at the intelligence level – they continue,” Erdogan said.

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