Herzogs visit to Ankara shows strong US-Turkey ties: US rabbi | Daily Sabah – Daily Sabah

Posted By on April 2, 2022

A prominent leader of the Jewish community in the United States, Rabbi Marc Schneier, commenting on the developing relations between Turkey and Israel, said that it also marks strong Washington-Ankara ties.

Rabbi Schneier, the head of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, is also former schoolmate of Israeli President Isaac Herzog and assisted him on his two-day official visit on March 9 with President Recep Tayyip Erdoan in Turkey.

He gave an interview to Anadolu Agency (AA) in New York on Thursday on Turkey-Israel and Turkey-U.S. relations.

Rabbi Schneier and Herzog have known each other since their school days, when the president's father was posted as Israel's ambassador to the U.S.

Noting that he developed good relations with Murat Mercan, the Turkish ambassador to the U.S., and that their efforts paved the way for the Turkish and Israeli presidents' meeting in Ankara, he said the summit's main achievement was stronger relations between Turkey and the U.S.

Fixing bilateral ties with Israel will significantly contribute to reestablishing relations with the Jewish community in the U.S. and the American administration, according to Schneier.

In Ankara, the rabbi was in contact with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake, who said that Washington was closely monitoring the Turkish-Israeli meeting as well as the peace process between Turkey and Armenia and Ankara's mediation efforts to end Russia's war in Ukraine.

The meeting with his Turkish counterpart left the Israeli president deeply impressed, he remarked.

In terms of future political developments, he indicated that the foreign ministers of the two countries intended to meet in Israel after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan to discuss a myriad of subjects, including the natural gas pipeline project.

According to the rabbi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett may pay a visit to Turkey following Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's visit to Israel.

He believed that the improvement in Turkish-Israeli relations will have an impact on Ankara's relations with Washington and that President Joe Biden may invite Erdoan to the U.S. in the near future as a tangible indicator of how relations are developing and an important first step toward better ties.

Normalization of Israeli-Turkish relations would benefit the Palestinian issue as well, he asserted, emphasizing that he believed in a two-state solution to the conflict and that Turkey could play a role in this context.

Turkey wields enormous power over the Palestinians and Hamas, he added.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog last month visited Turkey and met with President Erdoan. Describing Herzog's visit as a "new turning point" in relations, Erdoan said: "Our common goal with Israel is to revive the political dialogue between our countries based on common interests, respect for mutual sensitivities."

Herzog, for his part, said the aim is to lay foundations for the development of friendly relations between Turkey, Israel and the peoples of the two countries.

"Israel and Turkey can and should engage in a cooperation that will impact this region we all call home," Herzog said.

The two countries also plan to cooperate in the field of energy in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Herzogs visit to Ankara shows strong US-Turkey ties: US rabbi | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah

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