Lapid Speaks With Turkish Counterpart

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday, as the two countries continue to increase their dialogue.

The Turkish minister called Lapid to ask about his health following his COVID infection, according to Lapid’s office, despite the fact that Lapid has already recovered and left isolation.

The call comes days after Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that President Yitzchak Herzog may visit Turkey soon, although no date has yet been set for the visit.

Relations between Turkey and Israel reached their most critical point in 2010 following the Mavi Marmara ship incident, in which nine pro-Palestinian provocateurs who came to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip on a humanitarian flotilla died in a clash with Israeli soldiers.

In 2013, Turkish-Israeli relations entered a period of normalization after then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized, and paid $20 million in compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims.

In December 2016, the two countries reappointed respective ambassadors as part of the reconciliation agreement, and have repeatedly reiterated the need to further improve bilateral relations.

The phone call is the first between the foreign ministers of the two countries to be publicly announced in 13 years.

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