Israel and Turkey today signed a new bilateral aviation agreement that further strengthens ties between the two countries, which have been moving closer for months after years of diplomatic tension and friction.
The pact, signed in Israel between the heads of the aviation authorities of the two states, will allow the resumption of flights by Israeli airlines to Turkey, while also helping to make more room for Turkish airlines to fly to Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid's office said in a statement.
According to the same source, the agreement marks "an important milestone in the promotion of relations between the two countries" and serves to "expand and develop their bilateral ties".
The deal was forged after "open and constructive negotiations in recent weeks", and after talks on the issue between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu and Lapid, who visited Turkey as Israeli Foreign Minister a few weeks ago.
Israel and Turkey continue to make progress in their thawing process that began in 2022, after years of diplomatic tension that in 2018 culminated in the withdrawal of their respective ambassadors.
Shortly after Israel's creation more than 70 years ago, Turkey was one of the first Muslim countries to establish relations with the Jewish state, but the two countries have drifted apart in recent decades over Ankara's pro-Palestinian stances and its opposition to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.
Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan's pro-Palestinian rhetoric once generated bitter friction with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
This year, Erdogan showed a willingness to re-engage with Israel, and in this context, Israeli President Isaac Herzog made an official visit to Ankara last March that was a first step towards a thaw between the two sides.