Erdogan Says He’ll Visit Israel

By Hamodia Staff

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan arrives to address the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, Tuesday. (REUTERS/Amr Alfiky)

YERUSHALAYIM — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told a Jewish group that he intends to visit Israel, which would be a major step forward in the rapprochement between the two countries.

Erdogan disclosed his plan at a meeting, convened by the Turkish embassy and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York City, where the United Nations General Assembly is holding its annual gathering this week, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Tuesday.

Erdogan also declared to his Jewish audience that antisemitism is a “crime against humanity,” a meeting participant told JTA.

Erdogan gave no date for the visit to Israel.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yair Lapid was slated to meet with the Turkish president on the sidelines of the General Assembly, the first time leaders of the two countries have met since 2008.

Turkey and Israel last month announced that they planned to restore full diplomatic ties, which have been damaged since 2010, when an Israeli commando raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara, part of a blockade-running flotilla, left 10 Turkish activists dead in a violent melee after they attacked Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced a new ambassador to Turkey on Monday, the first since 2108 when Turkey recalled its ambassador and asked Israel’s to leave to protest of Israel’s response to rioting on the Gaza border, in which dozens of Palestinians were killed.

President Isaac Herzog visited Turkey in March.

Also, on Sunday, the Turkish government’s official Twitter account posted a video of Erdogan strolling through Manhattan’s Central Park which included a cheerful encounter with a Jewish resident of Queens.

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