Turkey appoints new ambassador to Israel after two years

Turkey selecting 40-year-old Ufuk Ulutasas as the new Turkish ambassador in an attempt to improve ties with the Jewish state

Ankara: Two years after it withdrew its ambassador over deadly attacks on Palestinians, Turkey has appointed a new ambassador to Israel. Turkey selecting 40-year-old Ufuk Ulutasas as the new Turkish ambassador in an attempt to improve ties with the Jewish state, reports said.

The move to appoint the new ambassador is also an attempt of Turkey to secure brownie points with the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden, Al-Monitor said, quoting close sources.

Ulutas’ appointment also comes as a number of Arab countries – Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates – agreed to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel in deals brokered by outgoing US President Trump.

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In 2018, Turkey withdrew its ambassador as a result of deadly attacks against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip who were protesting the US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The report mentions Ufuk Ulutas as something of a wunderkind — “very polished,” “very clever” and “very pro-Palestinian.” Ulutas is chairman for the Center for Strategic Research at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and a political appointee who studied Hebrew and Middle Eastern politics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Ulutas is also known to be an expert on Iran, sources said.

However, despite the new reported appointment of Ulutas as ambassador, it remains to be seen whether Ankara will establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.

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