In a meeting that is being deemed historic, Defense Minister Benny Gantz will meet with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential residence in Ankara, his office said Thursday.
Gantz landed in the Turkish capital Wednesday evening for the official trip to Turkey by an Israeli defense chief in over a decade, a sign of renewed ties between the two countries. According to a schedule published by his office, Gantz is slated to meet with Erdogan at the Presidential Complex at 3:30 p.m.
Gantz will also meet his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, his office said.“As part of the meetings, Defense Minister Gantz will renew the official defense relations between the countries,” his office said in a statement.
After a decade of frayed ties, these two meetings are seemingly a result of the year-long initiatives taken to bring the two otherwise opposing countries together.
That being said, a defense official told the Walla news site that the trip would likely not see any weapons deals being signed between the sides. “A race of procurement should not be expected here… we are very, very careful to continue this [process] with measured and careful steps. We made it clear and it will be made clear as part of the minister’s visit,” the official said, noting the sensitive ties Israel has with Turkish rivals Cyprus and Greece.