February 22, 2024


Moon Desk: Following the decision of Turkiye and Israel to normalize relations, the Turkish foreign minister on Wednesday said a new draft decree on ambassadors is ready to be presented to the president.

Responding to questions of diplomatic correspondents in Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the decree does not only include Israel but rather is a comprehensive one.

He did not share further details regarding the names of Turkish ambassadors.

Türkiye and Israel began to take steps to normalize ties, including a decision on Aug. 17 to restore full diplomatic relations and reappoint ambassadors and consuls general after a four-year hiatus.

A cooperation agreement was also signed between the two countries in the field of aviation. Currently, Turkish aviation companies can organize flights to Israel.

Cavusoglu further announced that he will leave for London on Sept. 19 to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, representing Türkiye.

After his participation in the 77th UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 20-26, Cavusoglu will go to Japan to attend the official funeral ceremony of assassinated former Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo which is set for Sept. 27.

Responding to a question on whether the next meeting between Türkiye and Armenia will be held in either country as part of the normalization process, Cavusoglu said his country suggested this immediately following the first meeting in Moscow.

After the Jan. 14 Moscow meeting, he said Türkiye told Armenia that “there is no need to go to third countries for the meeting, it should be held in either Türkiye or Armenia,” while Yerevan said it is not ready for the meeting to be held in either country.

The first round of normalization talks was held in Moscow on Jan. 14, where both parties agreed to continue negotiations without any preconditions, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Noting that Armenia is “a bit hesitant” regarding the meeting location, the Turkish minister said: “There has been no clear and positive response from Armenia on this issue yet, but in the last talks, they said it could be held. But, of course, the latest developments with Azerbaijan bothered us. Armenia needs to end these provocations.”

Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of “large-scale provocations” in recent days, which resulted in fatalities on both sides, including 50 Azerbaijani soldiers and 49 Armenian soldiers, according to official accounts of the latest flare-up. In Monday’s attacks by Armenia, two farmers were injured, leaving one in critical condition, according to a joint statement of Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry and Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

Cavusoglu affirmed that Türkiye will not proceed with the normalization process independently of Azerbaijan, and that Armenia knows it.

“We are sincere for the stability of the South Caucasus and if Armenia is sincere, there can be more positive developments,” Cavusoglu added.

On a question about whether there would be a meeting with the Western countries’ ambassadors, including the US, regarding delays in visa processing on Turkish citizens, Cavusoglu said “there are some envoys who are on vacation. We are waiting for their return.

“It (the meeting) will probably be after the visit to New York, so, later this month. My colleagues will arrange ambassadors of Western countries, not just the US. We will convey the necessary warnings (to the envoys). Some countries have begun to accelerate (the visa processes). Problems persist in some countries.”

Many Turkish citizens are experiencing delays in visa processing such as increased scrutiny of visa applications and months of waiting to obtain an appointment date.

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