Turkey Normalizing Ties With Russia, Israel to Benefit Entire Region - FM

© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikMevlut Cavusoglu. File photo
Mevlut Cavusoglu. File photo - Sputnik International
Turkey improving relations with Russia and Israel will have a positive impact on the whole region, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

SOCHI (Sputnik) — Cavusoglu said Friday following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that the meeting was constructive and focused on a broad range of bilateral, as well as regional issues.

"This is a good coincident, the normalization of relations with Russia and Israel. This is what we want with all our neighbors," Cavusoglu said.

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"I am very glad that we are able to normalize relations with Russia," he added.

"We [Cavusoglu and Lavrov] discussed bilateral relations and measures on how to return to the level we had before. We discussed all bilateral matters, top-level contacts between presidents, prime ministers and Sergei Lavrov and me. We also discussed regional issues," Cavusoglu said.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret and send condolences for the November 2015 downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria by Turkey.

On Wednesday, the two leaders held a phone conversation for the first time in more than seven months. Following the talks with Erdogan, Putin ordered the government to prepare to lift administrative restrictions against Turkey in tourism field.

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim announced the restart of diplomatic ties with Israel. Yildirim said the two countries’ embassies would subsequently reopen. Israel has also agreed to pay $20 million to the victims of the 2010 Freedom Flotilla incident, the prime minister added.

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