Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal highlighted Turkey's commitment to the Palestinian cause in their meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday.
According to sources, the Turkish delegation assured continued support to the Palestinian people within the framework of a two-state solution.
Turkey-Palestine relations were also discussed in the meeting, the sources added.
The Turkish delegation also met Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and discussed bilateral ties.
Turkish Consul General in Jerusalem Ahmet Rıza Demirer also attended the meeting.
The two senior Turkish officials began a two-day visit to Palestine and Israel on Wednesday.
The trip comes ahead of an expected visit to Turkey by Israeli President Isaac Herzog in March, as recently announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Herzog is expected to be in Turkey in early March for a rare trip following years of frayed ties between the two countries.
The visit to Ramallah comes as Turkey is on a path toward normalizing ties with Israel and after Ankara had stated it may mediate between Israel and Palestine.
After that, the Turkish delegation headed by Kalın and Önal will also hold political consultations in Israel and discuss preparations for Herzog's upcoming visit.
Relations between Turkey and Israel hit a low in 2010 following an Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, en route to deliver humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. The raid killed 10 activists. The event caused an unprecedented crisis in Turkish-Israeli relations that had been peaceful for decades. Both countries even recalled their diplomatic envoys following the incident.
In 2013, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey and the payment of $20 million (about TL 38 million at the time) in compensation to the Mavi Marmara victims, Turkish-Israeli relations entered a period of normalization.
In December 2016, both countries reappointed ambassadors as part of the reconciliation deal and reiterated several times the necessity to further improve bilateral relations.
The two countries once again expelled each other's ambassadors in 2018 after another bitter falling out, and relations have since remained tense. In recent months, however, the two countries have been working on a rapprochement with Erdoğan, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, holding telephone talks with his Israeli counterpart and other Israeli leaders.
Erdoğan has said that Herzog’s visit could open a new chapter in relations between Turkey and Israel and that he was “ready to take steps in Israel’s direction in all areas, including natural gas.”
Despite the recent rapprochement, Turkish officials continue to criticize Israel’s policies targeting Palestinians, including the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Known for its unbreakable solidarity with the Palestinians, Turkey has been voicing support for the Palestinian cause in the international realm for decades. Turkish authorities emphasize that the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the Middle East is through a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue within the framework of international law and United Nations resolutions.