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Israeli, Turkish leaders to meet at UN next week

Israel and Turkey on August 16 announced the resumption of full diplomatic ties following years of strained relations between the Mediterranean nations. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hailed the step as an "important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens" of the Jewish state. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, as relations between the two countries thaw, Agence France-Presse reported.

Lapid’s office said he would travel to New York on Monday night, ahead of an address to the General Assembly on Thursday.

A source said the meeting with Erdoğan would take place on Tuesday.

It came as Israel’s armed forces chief Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi announced his first visit to France and Poland to meet with senior officials in the two countries.

Last month, Turkey and Israel announced the full restoration of diplomatic ties following years of strained relations.

In May, Mevlut Cavusoglu became the first Turkish foreign minister to visit Israel in 15 years.

Erdoğan described a fence-mending visit to Ankara by Israeli President Isaac Herzog in March as “a turning point in our relations”.

Relations began to fray in 2008, following an Israeli military operation in Gaza.

Relations then froze in 2010 after the deaths of 10 civilians following an Israeli commando raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, part of an aid flotilla trying to breach the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

A brief reconciliation lasted from 2016 until 2018, when Turkey withdrew its ambassador and expelled Israel’s over the killing of Palestinians. More than 200 Gazans were shot dead by Israeli forces during border protests in 2018 and 2019.

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