Turkey, Netherlands agree to normalize ties

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to normalize ties, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Friday, restoring relations that have been strained since a 2017 diplomatic row.

The decision was reached in a phone call between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Dutch counterpart, Stef Blok, the foreign ministry said.

“During this telephone conversation, the ministers agreed to normalize diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey,” the ministry said in a statement. “To that extent, the ministers agreed to reinstate ambassadors in Ankara and The Hague shortly.”

The Dutch foreign minister also said in a letter to parliament ambassadors for both sides would be reinstated.

The two governments fell out over the Netherlands’ decision to bar Turkish officials from campaigning among the Turkish diaspora before Turkey’s April 2017 constitutional referendum, when the Netherlands was holding its own elections.

The Netherlands said it had formally withdrawn its ambassador to Ankara in February due to the row. Following that decision, Turkey said diplomatic relations would be maintained on the charge d’affaires level.

Cavusoglu said in an interview with private broadcaster NTV that Blok would visit Turkey within a couple of months.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz, Ece Toksabay, Tuvan Gumrukcu and Toby Sterling in Amsterdam; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Daren Butler, Larry King