Israeli Emergency Authority Aims to Build Relations With Turkish Agency

iiidddThe Israeli National Emergency Management Authority is aiming to establish official relations with Turkey’s national relief agency, the director of the Israeli organization Jacob Wimisberg has said, amid recent moves in both countries to mend ties that have been tense for six years.

Speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul on May 23, Wimisberg, the director of the Cooperation and Assistance Division of the Israeli National Emergency Management Authority, said they wanted to form relations with Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

He added that they met with representatives of AFAD in Geneva at a U.N. convention on crisis management in February, while just a few weeks ago “the person in charge of the Israel Embassy in Ankara met with head of AFAD,” Wimisberg told the Hürriyet Daily News on May 23.

“Our desire is to get in contact and build a relationship with this professional agency and we would like to extend this kind of relationship,” he added.

Relations between Turkey and Israel came to a halt after the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May 2010, during which 10 Turkish citizens were killed.

The two countries launched talks in 2015 in order to restoretense ties and Israeli Consul-General in Istanbul Shai Cohen said on May 11 that the parties were “very close to reaching a final deal.”

Wimisberg said they initially wanted to share knowledge of the mutual capabilities of each of the national relief teams and thus build a more effective partnership.

“We aim to collaborate in the exchange of knowledge, training, expertise and best practice,” he added.