Turkish Envoy Hails ‘New Beginning’ with ‘Partner and Friend’ Israel

Turkish ambassador to Israel Kemal Okem hands his diplomatic credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at Rivlin's official residence in Jerusalem December 12, 2016. / AFP / POOL / RONEN ZVULUN (Photo credit should read RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Times of Israel reports: Ending a half-decade-long diplomatic freeze, Turkey’s new ambassador to Israel on Monday hailed a “new beginning” in bilateral ties and called the Jewish state Ankara’s “partner and friend.”

Mekin Mustafa Kemal Okem handed his letter of credence to President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and officially assumed the post of Turkey’s first ambassador to Israel in five years, the fruit of years of intense detente efforts following a deadly 2010 raid that soured relations between Jerusalem and Ankara.

Israel’s new ambassador in Ankara, Eitan Na’eh, handed his credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week.

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