Israel sets to reopen trade office in Turkey to expand relations
Bilateral trade between Tel Aviv and Ankara rose to 30 percent last year, reaching $7.7 billion
By News Desk - July 05 2022

(Photo Credit: AA)

On 5 July, Israel announced plans to reopen its economic and trade office in Turkey, as the two nations work to reestablish diplomatic ties after having years of strained relations.

In 2018, both governments expelled each others’ ambassadors, with Turkey often criticizing Tel Aviv over their human rights abuses committed against Palestinians.

The two sides are currently seeking to restore representation on an ambassador level. Israel also cut back on their economic representation with Ankara in 2019.

Despite years of acute tensions between Tel Aviv and Ankara, they were able to maintain trade relations, with Turkey remaining as one of Israel’s prominent partners. According to reports, bilateral trade was up 30 percent last year, reaching $7.7 billion.

“The reopening of the economic attaché reflects Israel’s commitment to deepening economic ties with Turkey … We intend to soon promote a joint economic conference between the countries, after more than a decade,” Israeli Economy Minister Orna Barbivai said.

Barbivai added that this move would potentially help over 1,500 Israeli companies that currently export products to Turkey.

During the past year, Ankara has been working to repair relations with a number of regional rivals, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt. At the same time, Turkey has also moved to normalize ties with Israel.

Energy cooperation is of particular interest to both nations, specifically, the potential to transport Israeli gas from Turkey to Europe amid a severe energy crisis caused by western sanctions imposed on Russia.

In July of last year, the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey, Omer Celik, announced that the coming period will witness more tangible steps in relations with Israel.

The spokesman continued that there are other areas of cooperation his country wants to consolidate with Israel, such as tourism and trade, through which both sides can achieve gains.

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