Turkey-Israel deal may herald new regional relationships, economic ties

Ata Turk Memorial

Ataturk Memorial Ankara, Turkey

Source. A Times.

ISTANBUL–After months of gloomy political isolation in the Middle East, this week saw moves in a single day to restore Turkey’s relations with both Israel and Russia, key neighbors with whom it has been locked in dispute.

In both cases, full details of the agreements are yet to be fleshed out in talks between politicians and diplomats, which may take months to complete. But a new pattern of Turkish external political and trade relations seems to be appearing, one which is pragmatic and inclined to put economic interests above Islamist goals.

Turkey and Russia have close geographical and trade ties. Business in both countries lost heavily from the freeze Russia imposed after Turkey shot down an Su-24 Russian fighter jet late last year after a 17-second violation of its borders. Given their common interests, it is not altogether surprising that the two countries have now decided to patch things up.

The Turkish-Israeli deal is more surprising and was much more difficult to achieve. But it may point to wider changes in the political balance in the Middle East. The two countries are to exchange ambassadors once more. Israel’s blockade on Gaza has been relaxed and Turkey has permission to send 10,000 tons of relief supplies for the Gazans on 1 July.

More.

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