Turkish and Israeli leaders hold first face-to-face meeting since 2008

Picture source - AP

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met on the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly session.

On Tuesday, according to Lapid’s office, a meeting between the Turkey and Israel leaders was the first face-to-face contact since 2008.

Relations between Israel and Turkey, which had previously been icy due to disagreements over the Palestinian problem, have thawed up recently, with energy emerging as a major area of cooperation.

According to some international media reports, it is anticipated that they will shortly exchange new ambassadors.

Lapid commended Erdogan for sharing intelligence with both nations and brought up Israel’s desire for the release of four of its people, including two soldiers, who have been missing in the Gaza Strip since a 2014 battle.

Members of Hamas, the organization that controls Gaza and is mostly regarded as a terrorist organization in the West, have been staying in Turkey, a member of NATO.

In attempts to restore relations with Israel, Turkey’s connection with Hamas has frequently proven to be a problem.

Ankara was horrified by the deaths of 10 Turkish activists in altercations that broke out in 2010 when Israeli marines seized a ship that was attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza.