Turkish and Israeli defense ministers will hold a rare face-to-face meeting as the latter will visit the Turkish capital tomorrow as part of the ongoing normalization process between the two countries.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz will travel to Ankara on Thursday as an official guest of Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. It will be the first meeting between the defense ministers of the two countries since 2010, when ties between Turkey and Israel intensified unprecedentedly due to the crisis of the Mavi Marmara flotilla bound for Gaza, during which Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish nationals in international waters.
“A visit to this level will be the first after so many years. We will assess the general situation. Our policies and opinions are certain. The Republic of Turkey conducts a very transparent policy. We will explain them,” Minister Akar told reporters after the October 24 cabinet meeting. “We will see what the next steps will be depending on the developments,” Akar said. Turkey and Israel have exchanged ambassadors over the past few weeks in a bid to fully normalize bilateral relations. Israeli Economy Minister Orna Barnibai was in Turkey last week to improve bilateral economic and trade relations. Israel’s visits came a week before the country is due for elections.
Ankara wants to extend the grain agreement
On a question regarding the grain deal that allows Ukraine to export its wheat and other products to world markets, Akar reiterated that the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul continues to work 24/7. /7 to make the operation last without problems.
“Our goal has been known from the very beginning. We must avoid food crises and maintain stability. This is why we work. We certainly support the extension of this agreement. Moreover, we are also making efforts to export the grain to Russian ports,” he said.
The agreement between Turkey, the UN, Russia and Ukraine was signed on July 22 and will expire at the end of November. About eight million tons of grain have already been transported through the Black Sea.