Lapid Hopes Travel Warning to Turkey Will Be Lifted Soon


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid leave after statements, in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Foreign Ministry Yair Lapid said Thursday that he hopes the travel warning for Israelis visiting Turkey will soon be lifted.

Lapid was quoted by officials during his visit to Ankara and after a meeting with the head of Turkey’s intelligence agency and close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Hakan Fidan.

The travel warning was issued last month after intelligence revealed an Iranian plot to kill or abduct Israelis visiting Istanbul.

An unnamed senior official said that Turkey requested that the travel warning for Israelis be lifted.

“The decision will depend on the very serious and professional work being done and I think we should all take our hats off in honor of those people both on the Israeli and the Turkish side,” the senior official said.
“The travel alert will be lifted when we are confident there is no danger to Israelis visiting Turkey,” he said.

Earlier in a press briefing, Director General of the Foreign Ministry Alon Ushpiz said Israel aims to reduce any risk, “in order to enable Israeli tourists to travel to Istanbul without worry.”

“It was important to the Turkish government that the foreign minister was willing to visit Ankara for a few hours and express Israel’s gratitude for their efforts on Israel’s behalf,” Ushpiz said.

He added that in their meeting, Lapid and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed convening a joint economic conference in the fall.

“This will be a very important conference because it will be the platform for advancing bilateral economic ties,” he said.

In their meeting the foreign ministers discussed advancing the diplomatic relations between the countries, that had deteriorated after the Israel raided the Mavi Marmara, part of a provocative flotilla attempting to break the blockade on Gaza in 2010.

The ministers did not agree to return their ambassadors yet. “We are taking an evolutionary road in our relations,” the senior source said. “It will come but we want ambassadors to be reinstated when we formalize economic and air travel agreements,” he said.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!