Friday, September 22, 2023

Netanyahu will meet Erdogan in Turkey on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Israeli sources informed The Times of Israel on Thursday.

No date has been given for the meeting between the leaders, who will be in New York next week for the annual high-level world conference. Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in New York on Tuesday.

The Turkish embassy in Israel declined to comment.

Netanyahu had planned to fly to Turkey in July, but postponed his visit after undergoing surgery to implant a pacemaker, which forced him to stay in the country for 30 days.

The visit would have been the first by an Israeli prime minister since Ehud Olmert in 2008, at a time when Jerusalem and Ankara were trying to put more than a decade of conflict behind them.

Although Netanyahu has maintained his travel schedule, Erdogan’s office has not yet proposed a new date for the visit, according to diplomatic sources. The Turkish president has had a busy travel schedule lately, flying to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin and to India for the G20 summit at the weekend.

Last year, Prime Minister Yair Lapid met with Erdogan in New York in the fall, during the General Assembly.

Next week’s meeting comes amid closer ties between Israel and Turkey after years of conflict between the leaders of the two countries. President Isaac Herzog was received by Erdogan last year in Ankara – the first high-level visit since 2008 – and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met with the Turkish leader in February.

Both Netanyahu and Herzog called Erdogan in May to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential election and urged further development of relations between the two regional powers.

Netanyahu will meet with various world leaders at next week’s meeting, including US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

Israel has long been a regional ally of Turkey before Erdogan came to power, but ties soured after a 2010 attack by an Israeli commando against the Mavi Marmara ship, which was bound for Gaza and part of in a flotilla against the blockade, where 10 Turkish activists who attacked IDF soldiers on board were killed.

Netanyahu and Erdogan repeatedly attacked each other in the following years, even accusing each other of genocide. In July 2014, Erdogan accused the Jewish state of “keeping Hitler’s spirit alive” during a war against Gaza.

Relations later improved moderately, but both countries withdrew their ambassadors in 2018.

Faced with tightening diplomatic isolation and economic problems, Erdogan began to publicly show openness to rapprochement in December 2020. In August last year, Israel and Turkey announced a complete change in their diplomatic relations. .

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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