Turkey’s FM to Visit Israel in May Amid Efforts to Mend Fences

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he will visit Israel on May 24 amid increasing efforts between the regional rivals to mend ties, four years after they expelled ambassadors.

Turkey and Israel have in recent weeks been working to mend their long-strained ties, and energy has emerged as a potential area of cooperation.

President Tayyip Erdogan said last month he was “very, very hopeful” for energy cooperation with Israel, and he hoped to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

On Tuesday, Erdogan said he told his Israeli counterpart Yitzchak Herzog that he was “very upset” by Palestinians injured or killed in Yehudah and Shomron and Al-Aqsa mosque during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

The two countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 and have often traded barbs over the Palestinian conflict, Turkish support of the Hamas terror group, which runs Gaza, and other issues.

Speaking to broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said he will travel to Israel and the Palestinian Authority with Energy Minister Fatih Donmez on May 24 and would discuss the appointment of ambassadors with his Israeli counterpart during the visit.

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