A prominent leader of the Jewish community in the United States, Rabbi Marc Schneier, commenting on the development of relations between Turkey and Israel, said it also marks strong ties between Washington and Ankara.
Rabbi Schneier, director of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, is also a former classmate of Israeli President Isaac Herzog and assisted him during his two-day official visit on March 9 with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Turkey.
He gave an interview to Anadolu Agency (AA) in New York on Thursday on Turkey-Israel and Turkey-US relations.
Rabbi Schneier and Herzog have known each other since their school days, when the president’s father was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the United States.
Noting that he has developed good relations with Murat Mercan, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, and that their efforts paved the way for the meeting of the Turkish and Israeli presidents in Ankara, he said that the main achievement of the summit was the strengthening of relations between Turkey and the United States.
Fixing bilateral relations with Israel will contribute significantly to restoring relations with the Jewish community in the United States and the American administration, according to Schneier.
In Ankara, the rabbi was in touch with US Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake, who said Washington was closely following the Turkish-Israeli meeting as well as the Turkey-Armenia peace process and mediation efforts of Ankara to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The meeting with his Turkish counterpart left the Israeli president deeply impressed, he noted.
In terms of future political developments, he said the foreign ministers of the two countries intended to meet in Israel after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan to discuss a myriad of topics, including the gas pipeline project. .
According to the rabbi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett may visit Turkey after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to Israel.
He felt that improving Turkish-Israeli relations will have an impact on Ankara’s relations with Washington and that President Joe Biden could invite Erdoğan to the United States in the near future as a tangible indicator of the evolution of relations. and an important first step towards better ties.
The normalization of Israeli-Turkish relations would also benefit the Palestinian issue, he said, stressing 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.
Last month Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Turkey and met with President Erdoğan. Describing Herzog’s visit as a “new turning point” in relations, Erdoğan said, “Our common goal with Israel is to relaunch political dialogue between our countries on the basis of common interests, respect for mutual sensitivities.”
Herzog, for his part, said the goal was to lay the 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 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.